A Look Inside: ACFE Asia-Pacific Conference offers speakers with stories you could only imagine

AUTHOR’S POST

Mandy Moody, CFE
ACFE Social Media Specialist

I am not going to lie; I often like to think of my life as a long, dramatic Hollywood movie (key word: think). At times, it feels like a drama (thanks to my two-year old). Other times it feels like a comedy (I am known to tell a few jokes at the expense of my friends and family). And, on the rare occasion, it feels like an incredible tragedy (a missed promotion, the loss of a friend, the realization that I cannot be “Mom of the Year” all of the time). But, for me these genres are just examples of the way my life feels; not how it is. For Michael Woodford, former Olympus CEO and whistleblower, his life over the past five years actually is like (and will soon be) a blockbuster movie. His story of exposing a $1.7 billion fraud with rumored connections to the Japanese mafia sounds like a Hollywood thriller, a thriller he will share during his keynote address at the upcoming 2014 ACFE Asia-Pacific Fraud Conference in Hong Kong, November 16-18. Hear a clip below from Woodford speaking at the ACFE Global Fraud Conference in 2012.

Woodford, however, will not be the only speaker giving an inside look at his life. Below is the full list of speakers telling their stories:

  • Michael Woodford, Olympus Whistleblower, UK
    After 30 years with Olympus, Woodford confronted its Board of Directors on multiple occasions asking for answers to financial discrepancies and even delivered a commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers investigation report. He was abruptly fired Oct. 14, 2011, by the company’s executive board because of what the board cited as a “management culture clash.” Just one month later, Olympus officials publicly admitted to the U.S. FBI and UK Serious Fraud Office to having paid fraudulent advisory fees in a decade-long cover up valuing $1.7 billion. 
  • Albert Hui, CISA, CISM GCFA, GCFE, Principal Consultant, Security Ronin, Hong Kong
    Having spent years breaking and protecting information technology systems for investment banks and government and national critical infrastructures, Hui is an expert on high-sensitivity mission-critical systems security.
  • David Barboza, Correspondent, The New York Times, China
    In 2013, Barboza was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting “for his striking exposure of corruption at high levels of the Chinese government, including billions in secret wealth owned by relatives of the prime minister, well documented work published in the face of heavy pressure from the Chinese officials.”
  • Paul Chung, Deputy Head of the Financial Investigations Division of Narcotics Bureau, Hong Kong Police, Hong Kong
    Chung is an AML expert with more than 15 years of experience on financial investigation and financial intelligence handling. He also has experience in handling complex fraud investigation, including boiler room fraud, franchise fraud, LC fraud, instalment fraud and insurance fraud.
  • D. Bruce Dorris, J.D., CFE, CPA, CVA, Vice President and Program Director, ACFE
    Dorris is the Vice President and Program Director for the ACFE. As an Assistant District Attorney for the Caddo Parish District Attorney's Office in Shreveport, La., Dorris created and was the Director of its Financial Crimes Screening Section. He has testified numerous times before legislative committees and was a frequent lecturer with prosecutor and accountant training associations.

You can find more information about the 2014 ACFE Asia-Pacific Fraud Conference at ACFE.com/AsiaPac. Early registration ends tomorrow!

For CFE, Crime-fighting Runs in the Family

MEMBER PROFILE

Ashley Koroluk, CFE
Investigative Financial Crime Analyst, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Regina, Saskatchewan

Ashley Koroluk hails from a law enforcement family – yet, in her civilian member role, she brings an intense focus to detecting fraud and fighting white-collar crime. In this interview with the ACFE, Koroluk shares the challenges and responsibilities that come with her position, along with some words of wisdom for her colleagues in the anti-fraud profession.

What led you to this line of work?
Law enforcement is definitely in my blood. My father was a member of the RCMP for more than 33 years and continues to work with law enforcement as the Director of the Saskatchewan Witness Protection Program. My brother and fiancé are current RCMP members. I, however, was not interested in becoming a police officer. When the RCMP created this civilian member role, I knew it would be a perfect fit for my inquisitive nature while utilizing my business, financial and economic background. This position allows me to be part investigator, part intelligence analyst and part accountant. I also knew this would be a rewarding role where I could make a difference by helping others, specifically with preventing financial victimization and hopefully recovering proceeds of crime for victims. This role is the only one of its kind in Saskatchewan, which keeps me extremely busy, but allows me to work on new and interesting investigations, constantly keeping me challenged.
 
Which types of frauds are the most interesting to you?
I find fraudsters involved in corruption and large-scale investment fraud to be the most interesting because they are usually highly educated, well-respected and are purely motivated by greed and arrogance. For me, successful enforcement actions on these types are the most rewarding.

Believe it or not, I am passionate about every investigation because I have never worked on any that were the same. I learn something new each day and with every investigation. One investigation where I was particularly invested in was one that started out as a basic NSF (non-sufficient funds) check complaint. Through a tactical analysis I gathered enough information to formulate an indication that a fraud in progress was occurring. I gave presentations to upper management decision makers so they could get a taste and grasp of what my analysis showed and the magnitude of the fraud. This led to additional resources assisting me with further investigation, which in turn led to its development of one of the province’s highest priority projects and the first completely integrated organized crime investigation containing elements of fraud, drugs and proceeds of crime.
 
What do you think are some of the most important things for fraud examiners to keep in mind when working to prevent and detect fraud? Is there an element that requires the most focus for you?
Fraud examiners should be mindful that they are gathering evidence and reporting the facts, not expressing opinions. Two qualities that have really paid off for me in all of the investigations I have worked on, that are often overlooked or forgotten, are being creative and persistent. Financial crime investigations can be complex, take a lot of time, resources and money and at least in the law enforcement world, sometimes have to be sold to upper management and the prosecutors because they aren’t the “sexy” guns and drugs type of files.

 
What advice do you have for other fraud examiners who would follow in your footsteps?
Whether you are working for law enforcement in the criminal realm, or in any private or civil area, the following will assist you:

  • Seek out a mentor – you will benefit immensely from their experiences and wisdom.
  • Listen to and rely on your investigative intuition and trust your instincts.  
  • The more investigative experience you gain, the more better equipped you’ll be to deal with fraud.
  • Analytical skills are extremely important. Let all the data and the facts guide your analysis and conclusions to not only understand and formulate the big picture of what is going (or went on) but also the why and how things occurred as they did.
  • Definitely get your ACFE certification and become involved with the local ACFE chapters and attend the ACFE conferences. This is a great way to meet others and build relationships with like-minded fraud fighters.

 Get more insight from Ashley by reading her full profile on ACFE.com.

Hackers Not the Only Causes of Data Breaches

GUEST BLOGGER

Zach Capers, CFE 
ACFE Research Specialist

In the past year, the number of reported data breaches has increased by nearly 30 percent, according to a report from the Identity Theft Resource Center. While recent headline-grabbing events such as last month’s record-setting Home Depot data breach might lead one to speculate that the majority of these breaches are the result of malicious data thieves, research indicates that a greater number are caused by employee negligence and system malfunctions. According to the Ponemon Institute’s most recent Cost of a Data Breach analysis, hackers accounted for 42 percent of all data breaches, whereas employee negligence and system defects combined for 59 percent.

As employees are increasingly able to access and transmit company data between innumerable computing devices and various storage mediums, new avenues for data loss must be addressed. Unfortunately, business policies concerning emerging technological trends and other risks related to data security are often insufficient, outdated or simply ignored.

This predicament is exemplified at many organizations by the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement of recent years. As the number of employees who depend on their personal devices to accomplish occupational tasks has increased, so too have the risks of potential data breaches resulting from these devices being unsecured, misused, or lost. Additionally, because the devices are owned by employees, the company has only limited control over how they are used. Consequently, the implementation of a formal and comprehensive BYOD policy is critical to alleviate increased data risks while also allowing organizations to realize the benefits of the BYOD craze. However, despite the pervasiveness of personal device use in the workplace, a recent TEKsystems report found that more than one-third of IT professionals surveyed reported a complete lack of communication regarding BYOD.

To address these and related concerns, the ACFE’s newest two-day seminar, Protecting Data and Intellectual Property, has been designed to provide a thorough understanding not only of BYOD, but also of other burgeoning data risks such as cloud computing, social media, social engineering and increasingly sophisticated corporate espionage techniques. Furthermore, the program provides anti-fraud professionals with a solid foundation concerning the key legal issues, prevention strategies and response plans critical to securing an organization’s data.

While high-profile hacker attacks understandably generate the most Internet clicks, sound data security policies and employee awareness can foster a more secure business environment that reduces opportunities for malicious data thieves.