Sleepless in Kazakhstan

Wendy Schmidt sometimes has sleepless nights. The head of Business Intelligence Services and a principal at Deloitte Financial Advisory Services says that in doing due diligence investigations for corporate clients of potential merger targets, she frequently uncovers money laundering operations and even terrorist links. "I report them to the client and then lose sleep that night," she says. Because of the firm's attorney/ client relationship with its clients, she cannot take the information to federal authorities.

But Schmidt says she's not the only one who should be losing sleep. According to a Deloitte study she directed, two-thirds of companies do not even bother to conduct detailed investigations into potential foreign business partners or acquisition targets. Only 29% of the 565 executives who responded to the study's questionnaire said that they conducted investigations into bribery, money laundering, terrorism links or even resume fraud when they were dealing with overseas entities.

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