Best Of Fraud & Corruption

092: Procurement Fraud: Hear How Sylvain Mansotte Blew the Whistle on a $20M Corruption

Back in 2012, Sylvain Mansotte received the call from the newly appointed CPO of a large Australian based construction company to assist in the building a new procurement function.  He jumped at the chance, and one of his first priorities was to understand his new employers’ third party spend profile.

Within 2 months, Sylvain had uncovered a $20M fraud that spanned 12 years and led to the perpetrator – a finance executive with 30 years of experience in the company – admitting to the crime, and ultimately being sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Today’s Art of Procurement is Sylvain’s story.  Sylvain discusses how he uncovered the fraud, and the decisions he had to make in blowing the whistle.

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 “When you find [the fraud] you just begin to panic… the first thing you realize is that this can’t happen. You have been in the business for 2 months, you are still on probation, your wife is expecting baby number 3… it just can’t happen. I tried to convince myself that I was wrong.” 

In this episode, you will learn:

  • The story of how Sylvain uncovered a $20M fraud while undertaking spend analytics in support of a procurement transformation initiatives.
  • The red flags that companies should look for that are common to cases of procurement fraud.
  • What you can do to enable whistleblowers to come forward if they do identify potential cases of fraud.
  • What you can do as a professional if you encounter a potential fraud.

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About the author

Philip Ideson

Philip Ideson is passionate about the role that procurement professionals and leaders can plan in creating competitive advantage for their organizations in ways that go beyond the traditional value proposition.

Philip founded Art of Procurement as a way for the procurement community to learn from each other, increasing the impact they have on their organizations. In 2017, he co-founded Palambridge, a virtual platform of procurement experts, technology, and intelligence. Palambridge provides a broad range of flexible procurement solutions, available on-demand.

Prior to Art of Procurement and Palambridge, Philip enjoyed a career that spanned the procurement value chain, working across three continents for organizations such as Accenture, Procurian, Ally Financial, Pfizer and Ford Motor Company.