Singapore Cracks Down on Invoice Fraud
Another case of invoice fraud is helping to make the argument for better controls and more secure invoice management for businesses. Last week, Eric Lee Chin Khuay, a director of security services for Gatekeeper Resources in Singapore, was sentenced to 18 months in prison after being convicted of invoicing 117 fraudulent delivery orders and sales agreements.
The incidences took place over a 2 year span from 2008 to 2010 and totaled approximately $15.3 million. According to SharedServicesLink, the scam included falsified invoices from 4 different companies, 3 of which had personal connections to Lee through friendships he used to perpetuate the fraud.
“It is possible that the banks would have been alerted sooner when the fraud started in 2008 if they had used more efficient payment systems such as e-invoicing, which not only ensures that payments are made on time, but also helps to eliminate human errors and fraud.”
Invoice management software helps curtail crimes such as these through heightened visibility, auditing and other tools that make it much more difficult to process falsified invoices all the way through payment. It seems Gatekeeper Resources and the banks involved could certainly have benefitted from that level of tracking, as the fraudulent invoices would have been red-flagged and looked into much sooner had an automated invoicing solution already been in place. Instead, it took them more than 2 years to identify the criminal activity, ultimately leading to a public relations fiasco as well as the money lost to the fraud itself. With automated invoice management technology gaining ground, hopefully incidents such as these will become fewer and further between as companies continue to upgrade.