Professor Dr. Rexson S. Sandy, a forensic expert and certified fraud examiner, who testified, last week, in the on-going US$1.8million theft case involving four of the nine former employees of Liberia Coca-Cola Bottling Company (LCCBC), told Criminal Court ‘C’ that the forensic audit on which government based its case was marred by inconsistencies.
The audit was conducted by VOSCO, an accounting firm hired by LCCBC to investigate the alleged disappearance of U$1.8million from the coffers of the entity.
It is the report the Liberian government is heavily relying on as one of its evidences to convict the defendants of the multiple charges the state brought against them.
The portion of the report, which VOSCON captioned as ‘Special Forensic Audit,’ claimed that “based on our investigation, we were able to determine that a total amount of US$1.8million of LCCBC’s cash was mismanaged with the collaboration of nine employees of the entity.”
But, testifying as defence’s fifth special witness, Dr. Sandy, who teaches at the University of Liberia Graduate School, in his professional opinion told the court, ‘This report contradicts many of our ethical principles, because the investigation has already confirmed that the nine individuals were guilty of the offense which is a total violation.”
He said the code of ethics prevents forensic auditors and fraud examiners from expressing any opinion as to whether or not any individual is guilty of an act.
“It is left with the judgment of the juries and judges to say who is wrong or not. Our job is to collect information, analyse it and report the findings. It is impossible to really say someone is guilty or innocent without getting all the facts,” the defence special witness further said.
He added “Forensic audit is all about fraud investigation, and is about unusual activities and so we can’t express any opinion into it.”
Another issue the professor raised was that the VOSCON report did not say it conducted an investigation with the defendants.
“In forensic information on fraud examination, when you are quoting someone, their statement must be attached to your findings, but that is missing in this report. There is nowhere mentioned that the accused was interviewed or the information was taken from them,” Dr. Sandy explained.
He said, “One thing I am also looking at in the report is that there were a lot of communications from individuals that were interviewed, but there is nothing in this report to support VOSCON’s actual interview of any of the defendants.”
The case continues.