Akhlaq has over 20 year’s experience in assisting clients in financial reviews, assessments of compensation claims and the management of third party commercial relationships. He has led engagements focused on compliance and regulatory matters, including providing post investigation support and delivering anti-fraud training and fraud risk mitigation plans. Commercially his work has helped clients recover funds lost through fraud or error.
Akhlaq has specialist accounting investigations experience in relation to investigating compensation claims and compliance matters, including identifying accounting gaps and ‘black holes.’ He is a specialist at using forensic technology and data analytics to conduct investigations.
Akhlaq has written many articles about the impact and risks of fraud, anti-fraud investigations and fraud risk mitigation.
Akhlaq’s professional experience includes:
- Contract Investigations: Leading a multi-million pound contract investigation into allegations of overcharging by suppliers in the UK public sector housing market. He investigated the charging mechanism adopted by suppliers, this involved using data analytics, contract review and accounting investigative skills. The work led to the identification of a multi million pound’s worth of over charging. This helped the client recover funds from the respective suppliers.
- Shadow Investigations: Leading a large shadow investigation into a ponzi scheme suffered by a global law firm. He helped the client law firm deal with the investigation performed by the law regulatory body on one of the clients’ partners. Akhlaq and his team were able to investigate the matter using advance forensic email imaging and review software as well as tracing the flow of funds globally. Akhlaq’s work helped the law firm disclose the facts to the regulatory body which in turn helped resolve the matter for the client successfully. His work helped save the law firm from penalties and fines which would have been levied by the regulatory body had the client not delivered disclosure on time and accurately.
- Procurement compliance and Investigations: Leading a review of the procurement process for a large pharmaceutical client. He investigated allegations of unfair procurement practices at the client. These allegations had come from the client’s suppliers. Akhlaq and his team used electronic data imagining and business intelligence to identify conflicts of interest. His work traced key procurement decisions made by management back to source documents, this coupled with interviewing members of the procurement team led to the allegations being proven. This in turn led to the improving of the control environment at the client to protect against unfair procurement practices.
- Fraud risk assessments: Leading a large fraud risk assessment for a global telecoms company. He reviewed the policies , procedures, practices and controls at the client. The work was sanctioned by the client in order to ready itself to the incoming UK legislation under the Criminal Finances Act. Akhlaq evaluated the current policies, procedures and practices and helped identify the gaps in relation to the requirements of these under the new UK Criminal Finances Act. In addition, he provided the relevant anti-fraud training which helped the client better protect itself against fraud risk, tax evasion and money laundering.
- Anti-bribery and corruption investigations: Leading an investigation into allegations of bribery at a large European hardware distributor in Eastern Europe. Akhlaq and his team used investigative accounting skills to help identify the manipulation of accounts to cover the bribes at the client’s distribution partner. His work helped the client identify the perpetrators, the suppliers involved and the quantification of the breach in the distributor agreement. This led to penalties being levied on the eastern European partner and also led to the strengthening of the terms of the distribution Akhlaq also helped the client deal with strengthening its controls against bribery risk.
- Intelligence and compliance reviews: Conflict of interest investigation at a large local council in the UK after duplicate payments were made to suppliers in the region of £4m. Akhlaq and his team were able to identify where the internal controls had broken down. His team were able to establish who had instigated the duplicate payment transfers. Using advance forensic imaging software and intelligence checks Akhlaq’s team were able to establish the link between the finance manager and a couple of the suppliers that were paid twice. Akhlaq’s work was instrumental in helping recover the funds from these suppliers. Importantly, he was able to help the client improve its control environment to help against this risk in the future. He also delivered his findings to the UK local government body overseeing the local council operations.