What is chain of custody definition for the fraud examiner:
Establish what is chain of custody definition in fraud cases in fraud cases is important. If evidence is subject to change over time, or is susceptible to alteration, the offering party might need to establish that the evidence has not been altered or changed from the time it was collected through its production in court. This is done by establishing and define chain of custody. Thus, the chain of custody definition can be an important factor in establishing authenticity.
To clarify what is chain of custody, the chain of custody definition is both a process and a document that memorializes:
1) Define chain of custody by who has had possession of an object?
2) Define chain of custody by what they have done with it.
Chain of custody definition is simply a means of establishing that there has not been a material change or alteration to a piece of evidence. Thus, define chain of custody for an item of evidence demonstrates its authenticity, and it shows that the item has not been altered or changed from the time it was collected through production in court.
In general, chain of custody definition consists of documenting each person who had control or custody of the evidence; what is chain of custody, how and when evidence was received; how it was maintained or stored while in each person’s possession; what changes, if any, it underwent in that person’s custody; and how it left that person’s custody. The end result of chain of custody definition is a chain of testimony that accounts for the movement and location of physical evidence from the time, it is obtained to the time it is proffered at trial. The goal of chain of custody definition is to show that access to the evidence was limited to those who testified in the Chain of custody definition and thereby demonstrate that the evidence has not been materially altered.
Gaps in the Chain of custody definition (e.g., when it is not clear what occurred with a set of records) or outright mishandling (e.g., a group of questioned documents was not properly sealed), can dishevel a case but not wreck it outright. Courts have found in some cases that even though there have been mistakes in the Chain of custody definition, the mistake affects the “weight”, though not the “admissibility”, of evidence. That is to say, the evidence will still be allowed into the record, but it is accompanied by a forthright description of any improprieties that have occurred in the Chain of custody definition. The jury and judge are supposed to consider the improprieties when they deliberate, “weighing” the case for guilt or innocence.
To define chain of custody in fraud cases, the array of physical evidence, all the paper documents, audio and video recordings, and information-processing equipment, such as computers, demands some close monitoring to define chain of custody.
The following are some general guidelines that will help fraud examiners define chain of custody. They will also help fraud examiners in authenticating obtained evidence to clarify the chain of custody definition :
- If records are received via mail or courier-receipted delivery, keep copies of the postmarked envelope or the delivery receipts is important in chain of custody definition;
- If a cover letter is included, make sure you keep it to define chain of custody;
- If the cover letter or transmittal letter includes a list of the documents, check the package immediately to ensure all documents are there to ensure chain of custody definition. If something is missing, make a note in the file and notify the sender immediately;
- If you receive documents in person, the Chain of custody definition make obligation to create a memo stating the date and time the documents were received, who gave you the documents, where that individual obtained the documents, and a complete list of the documents received;
- If you obtained the documents yourself from the original source (desk, file cabinet, etc.), to define chain of custody, you have to create a memo describing the date, time, exact location of where the documents were found, and a complete list of the documents obtained.
The Chain of custody definition obligate to keep the originals of these memos or delivery receipts in the case file and keep a copy with the documents (it will be much easier to identify where the documents came from if you have the information with the documents).
Additionally, because digital evidence can be easily altered or destroyed, a Chain of custody definition must be maintained for all electronic evidence gathered and analysed in an investigation. At a minimum, the following Chain of custody definition and procedures should be followed:
- Identify each item that contains relevant information;
- Document each item, who it was received from, who authorised its removal, the location of the item, and the date and time the item was received;
- Maintain a continuous record of the item’s custody as it changes hands.