The group, which owns Text 100 and Bite Communications, said today that it had learned it ‘has been the victim of a complex fraud involving a senior member of the finance team in its Bite North America subsidiary’.
As a result the company has delayed publishing its annual results for the previous financial year pending a full investigation, which it expects to be complete in the next four weeks.
A Next Fifteen statement added: ‘It should be stated that the board believes this to be an isolated incident and a case of personal embezzlement as opposed to accounting irregularities.’
The company said it has informed the FBI, is working with its external auditors BDO, and has hired Kroll to carry out a full forensic investigation of all the activities within this part of the business.
It added that the suspected fraud has no impact on the underlying trading of the group and it will not impact its abilities to carry out its activities or make the investments it had planned for the coming year.
The group’s management said it expected to report revenue, adjusted profits and earnings for the preliminary results to July 2012 that are in line with market expectations.