Integrity Fuels Fraud Fighter's Mission


Elenore Cox, CFE, CPA
Senior Manager-Fraud and Investigations
NBN Co Limited

Elenore Cox, CFE, CPA, has always been focused on doing what is right for society as a whole. After working on an emotional case involving retirees who fell victim to fraud, she found a home for that passion to do right by heading up fraud detection in Australia’s largest communications infrastructure project, the National Broadband Network (NBN). “I wanted to be able to work on such a large project which is extremely beneficial to Australians and future generations,” she said.

How did you become passionate about fighting fraud?
I believe in integrity and doing the right thing all the time, even when no one is watching. I believe the people who make a conscious decision not to act with integrity and choose to commit fraud, or take part in corrupt activities when no one is watching, should be detected, investigated and (where proven and appropriate) prosecuted as a result. It is in the interests of individuals, organizations and the wider population. My passion stemmed from the underlying principle of doing the right thing, and I’m keen to ensure we prevent and minimize the risk of fraud and corruption.

What is a memorable case or project that you have worked on; one that made you feel especially proud?  
In a prior role, I worked on a case which was in the media that not only affected the client, but third parties to the organization — namely retirees. They had invested significant amounts of lifetime savings into investments, superannuation and insurance products/plans through a financial planner who was employed by a subsidiary of a large banking corporation.

The financial planner had more than 1,000 clients and defrauded approximately 60 percent, amounting to around $5.7 million over the course of 10 years.

While CFEs need to remain independent, calm and neutral, this case really pushed me to my limits as peoples’ livelihoods and their lifetime of hard work in savings was deceitfully taken from them with the promise of security, gains or, at a minimum, peace of mind (i.e. the insurance component). This was one of the cases that created the hashtag #trustisnotacontrol which I frequently quote.

What activities or hobbies do you like to do outside of work? 
Some of my colleagues say that I am so passionate about my job that it’s also my hobby! I think that it’s a pretty good situation to be in; to be doing something I love day to day is priceless. They say, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

In all seriousness, though, I love to travel and explore. I love spending time with my family and friends, am passionate about music, namely guitar and saxophone, and I like to play and watch sports and be out and about.

Read Elenore's full profile in the ACFE Career Center on

Talking to My 4-Year-Old About Wells Fargo


Mandy Moody, CFE
ACFE Content Manager

“Mom, what is the guy’s name again who stole all of the money?” This question from my 4-year-old was yet another reminder to me that I need to be careful what I talk about in front of her. She is pretty much the opposite of my husband; she listens to everything.

Two days ago when the news broke that Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf was resigning, I was in the car with her on our way home from her preschool. She overheard me call my co-worker to tell her that he was stepping down and to tweet something on our Twitter account. She could hear the excitement in my voice; excitement from knowing that someone was being held somewhat accountable for the millions of dollars taken and numerous fake accounts created over the past 10+ years. She asked me what happened and I told her that someone had stolen a lot money from people and that he was going to leave his job because he was in trouble.

“Is he a bad guy?” she asked.

“Well, he did something bad, and now he has to say he is sorry and stop what he is doing,” I said. That was the best I could come up with after an eight-hour workday.

“But, we are good guys, right, Mom?”

“Yeah, we are the good guys,” I told her.

So, flash forward 24 hours and she wants to talk about John Stumpf again on our way home from school. Honestly, I think she just likes saying his name. I reminded her of the story again and this time I told her that I get to work with people every day who try very hard to keep people like John Stumpf from stealing money. I told her that I love meeting these people and helping them stop anyone who wants to take something that isn’t theirs.

I then told her that she could grow up and be anything she wanted to be. Yes, I am one of those moms that constantly reminds her that she can do anything boys can do and can do anything she works really hard at (except soccer; I’m pretty sure that ship has sailed). I told her she could be a teacher like her daddy or a writer like me. I told her she could be a business owner like our neighbor who I am pretty sure she loves more than me. I told her she could be an animal doctor or a mail carrier (she’s obsessed with mail carriers). I then told her she could be someone who helps people keep their money safe; someone who works hard to always do the right thing even when it is hard. I didn’t explain the Certified Fraud Examiner to her because we all know that would lead to something about frogs, but I did tell her about how dedicated these people are to make sure we stay the “good guys.”

So, it was no surprise to me when I then asked what she wanted to be when she grows up that she answered without hesitation and with eyes beaming, “I want to be a leopard!”

Chapter Leader Profile: Pierre-Luc Pomerleau


Pierre-Luc Pomerleau, CFE, PCI, CPP, has been in the anti-fraud field his entire professional career. Last year he helped establish the Montreal Chapter and has already made a big impact on the community by organizing sold-out events, establishing networking opportunities and helping promote the largest ACFE Fraud Conference Canada.    

What do you do for a living?
I lead National Bank of Canada’s Corporate Security and Fraud Risk Management Division, which includes corporate security investigations, physical security, and the fraud strategy and data analytics teams.

Why did you decide to enter the anti-fraud field?
I entered the anti-fraud field almost 12 years ago when I was finishing my bachelor’s degree in criminology. I had the opportunity to work part-time as a fraud prevention analyst within a large Canadian financial institution. It was the perfect job for me at that time since the job was related to my degree. At the time, I never thought that I would work in a financial institution. However, since the beginning of my career, I’ve always worked in this industry.

How long have you been involved with the chapter?
I have been the president of the new Montreal Chapter since its formation in October of 2015.

What has been a highlight during your time on the board?
Since March is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada, we felt it was important for us to organize an event to promote fraud awareness. We organized a full-day training event and it was a huge success. A total of 185 anti-fraud professionals attended. We did a survey after the conference and the feedback we received from our members was excellent. Since it was our first full-day event, we did not know how many members would attend and we were glad that it was a sold-out event.

Do you have any advice for other chapter leaders?
A board is like a team. The most important things while investing time in a nonprofit organization are your peers and colleagues on the board. It takes time and a lot of organizational skills to build a website, prepare training, get interesting speakers to present at conferences and sponsors to fund our conferences, as well as to find a location for the members to assist an event while working full-time jobs. Having a dedicated board will ensure volunteering for the chapter will be an amazing and beneficial experience.

I strongly believe it is imperative that chapter leaders share roles and responsibilities between each other and that not only a couple of members do the work that needs to be done. We clarified roles and responsibilities between us and we hold ourselves accountable. I believe that this is the best way to invest time and energy in order to create value for the chapter and its members.

What are your favorite activities and hobbies outside of work?
Outside of work, most of my free time is spent with my wife and two amazing children. We like to travel and it is always fun to go to the beach with our kids. I attend NFL football games with friends in New York usually once a year. Nothing is better than a real tailgate on a Sunday morning before the game! I also like to read books, invest time in my personal development and exercise to stay in shape.

What is your personal motto? Does it have any special meaning?
One of the books that I read recently is Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, two former Navy Seals. I really appreciate how the authors shared their experiences and explained how some of the strategies employed in the Navy Seals can be applicable in our personal lives as well as in the business world. One quote that I like from Jocko Willink is, “discipline equals freedom.”

What do you consider your greatest achievement to date?
I played football for nine years until I reached college level and this is a sport that I am still a big fan of. In 2002, I had the opportunity to play for Team Canada at the World Junior Championship in New Orleans, Louisiana. We played against team China, Europe and U.S.A. This was quite an experience to play against these countries and at this level. I am still proud of it today.

Read more of Pierre's profile at