Money talks. Case study - financial abuse

Money talks. Case study – financial abuse

In recent times, Verificators analysts had the opportunity to investigate a case initiated by informants of a certain Polish company with an established market position. The information concerned the Regional Manager, who allegedly gained unfair financial benefits during contract negotiations by falsifying various documents. According to reports from other employees, these actions facilitated regular embezzlement from the company, resulting in harm to the corporation.

Informants pointed out a clear increase in the standard of living of the Regional Manager. By providing specific examples, they highlighted that the Manager suddenly began to purchase luxury cars and acquire a significant number of properties. These unusual behaviors and expenses raised serious doubts regarding their conformity with the Manager’s official sources of income. Together, all of this created a disturbing picture and provided the basis for conducting more detailed investigations to understand the full extent of potential irregularities in the Manager’s activities.

Action Mapping

Verificators’ actions in this case involved investigating the subject and determining the extent to which employees’ allegations align with reality.

In addition to assessing the assets owned, Analysts were tasked with determining the value of those assets and examining the timeline of their acquisition or disposal. The main objective was to either debunk or confirm the existence of any fraudulent procedures or criminal activities. As the issue of document forgery was pursued separately, the client sought to uncover any other dimensions that could be presented as evidence in the case.

Follow the money

Right from the outset of our investigations, we noticed that the Manager indeed owned several properties, which served as the first significant point of reference in our inquiry. The vast majority of these properties were modern apartments with accompanying parking spaces, situated in new housing estates. All apartments were purchased in a developer’s standard.

In addition to the apartments, the Manager also owned several flats located in restored, historic tenement houses, situated in the heart of the city. These properties represented a blend of modernity with the historical character of the place. This diversity of holdings aroused additional interest, particularly regarding their characteristics and values.

Among the owned properties was one land property with a building that was not accessible via Google Street View.

We immediately dispatched a detective to the scene, who provided us with photographs of the property. It turned out that on a large plot of nearly a thousand square meters stood a modern, newly built house. Two high-end cars from 2022 were parked on the premises.

An interesting observation was that despite owning such a significant number of properties, none of them were burdened with a mortgage. The Manager had purchased all of his assets with what seemed to be cash.

Forensic Analysis – Financial Abuse

The initial findings provided us with valuable materials for further analysis. We gathered detailed information regarding the dates of acquisition of individual properties and vehicles, and then transformed this data into a timeline to better understand and visualize the periods during which the Main Manager expanded his wealth. During this exploration, an interesting correlation emerged – it turned out that properties were regularly acquired over the past few years, almost always in combination with an apartment plus a garage space.

Furthermore, upon deeper analysis, it was revealed that the acquired apartments were systematically rented out, providing the Manager with additional income. This suggested that owning properties not only served as an investment but also as a source of steady revenue.

However, equally intriguing was the topic of acquiring apartments in restored tenement houses in the city center. In recent years, there has been a clear trend in the real estate market related to the acquisition of such properties. There are many valid reasons why this type of investment is becoming increasingly attractive, primarily profitable.

Revitalized tenement houses attract attention not only for their historical facade but also for the possibility of generating significant investment returns. Both developers and buyers are aware of the enormous potential inherent in such properties.

From the perspective of capital investment, the premium revitalized real estate segment offers certainty of sustained demand, directly translating into increased investment value. It is worth noting that the supply of such properties is limited, both by the lengthy revitalization process, which requires time and financial resources, and by the limited availability of such properties. This, in turn, contributes to the tendency for premium property prices to rise, which is a tempting prospect for potential investors seeking profits in the real estate market.

The conclusions drawn from real estate market trends shaped the character of the Manager’s investments, who evidently aimed to expand his wealth into assets with increasing value over time.

Secondary Source of Information

As part of this case, in-depth investigations were also conducted into the Manager’s social media presence; however, his online presence was minimal. Unlike many other individuals who actively participate in online life, the Manager remained virtually invisible on the internet. His social media profiles existed only formally and were not actively used. In contrast, his wife was active in publishing content almost daily, providing us with valuable insight into their lives.

For several years, the couple regularly embarked on exotic vacations, no less than several times a year. But that wasn’t all. Especially in the last two years, the Manager’s wife, accompanied by her friends, went on vacations to well-known foreign destinations every month or two.

On her social media profiles, numerous photos could be found from exclusive restaurants and social gatherings with friends. An interesting aspect was also noticeable changes in her appearance and lifestyle. Comparing photos from different periods, it was hard to believe it was the same person. It was clear that she had undergone numerous cosmetic procedures that significantly altered her appearance.

These changes in the lifestyle and appearance of the Manager’s wife seemed to occur at the same time as the noticeable increase in the Manager’s real estate wealth. The clear simultaneity of these two phenomena suggested a deeper correlation between the transformation of the wife’s image and her husband’s growing property portfolio.

A Purely Mathematical Perspective

In conclusion of our analysis, we conducted a detailed review of all costs associated with acquiring assets over the years and compared them with information regarding the Manager’s income. It was easy to observe that the results of these comparisons had absolutely no common denominator. It was impossible for the Manager’s standard of living to be based solely on his official salary.

However, during deliberations on this issue, an intriguing hypothesis arose: what if the Manager’s wife is the driving force behind this luxurious lifestyle? This was one of the possible explanations, especially if her income significantly exceeded that of her husband, suggesting that she could play a key role in this financial arrangement.

However, other conclusions quickly emerged. It was established that she worked as a clerk, earning the minimum wage, so the possibility of her financing investments in such a large number of properties was highly unlikely. Instead, she seemed to benefit from her husband’s “smarts” and lived at a high level at his expense.


The case study conducted by Verificators sheds light on key aspects of financial misconduct in corporations. Significant “red flags,” such as a sudden increase in the Manager’s standard of living, purchase of luxury cars, and acquisition of properties without mortgages, signal potential abuses. Difficulties in proving such practices lie in the concealment of actions by those involved, where the analysis of assets and transactions is crucial.

Equally important is the role of social media in investigations, where digital traces and private lives can provide essential information. An example is the activity of the Manager’s wife, which helped reveal their lifestyle.

A central element is the role of whistleblowers – their courage in reporting suspicions often initiates investigations and helps resolve ethical issues in companies. This case underscores the importance of creating a safe environment for whistleblowers and the need for effective internal control procedures in organizations to prevent and detect financial misconduct.

Author: Patrycja Kruczkowska

*For the respect and safety of our clients, all sensitive data has been anonymised for publication purposes.

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