How are Your Organizations Deterring the Fraudulent Flow of Intellectual Property Out the Door?


James D. Ratley, CFE

I bet your organization works extremely hard to find good employees. Weeks of intensive searching, vetting of qualifications and background checks hopefully yield hardworking, loyal colleagues. Of course, you know all that cultivation still can yield some rotten apples.

Ryan Duquette, CFE, CFCE, author of the latest Fraud Magazine cover article, "Insider threats! Using digital forensics to prevent intellectual property theft," quotes studies that show that half of all departing employees leave with confidential company information — either deliberately or unintentionally. That's sobering. How are your organizations deterring the fraudulent flow of intellectual property out the door?

Because most fraud examinations focus on establishing if, and how, someone did what they're suspected of doing, the author writes, they must learn fraudsters' common methods to remove sensitive information. These include the obvious means, such as personal webmail accounts, portable storage media and personal devices. But they also include accessing corporate systems via remote sessions and cloud storage.

Duquette emphasizes that fraud examiners should be part of the everyday work routines to examine new and leaving employees. "Your input and expertise is vital because you might see different patterns and suggest other methods, which could help examine broader fraud matters in your organization,” he writes.

Fraud examiners can use their skills at observing behaviors to help their organizations, he explains, such as looking for those who take proprietary information home via thumb drives or email without authorization, and inappropriately seek or obtain proprietary or classified information on subjects not related to their work duties.

Duquette also says we can help by looking for those who disregard the organization's computer policies on installing personal software or hardware, access restricted websites, conduct unauthorized searches or download confidential information.

As always, we have to review local, regional and national privacy laws and regulations on examining employees, which seem to change daily around the world.

"If the employee’s role grants them privileged access to highly confidential data such as payment card numbers, personally identifiable information or financial information, there's a risk that your activities might result in compliance issues," Duquette writes. "For example, you might locate payment card and transactional data and duplicate it to present as evidence. That action, while well intended, might be in a contravention of a policy or control that you've agreed to adhere to because you're moving the data outside of a controlled environment."

As Duquette implores, don't let departing employees leave with valuable intellectual property. Use digital forensics in daily workflows before they resign and in exit interviews to prevent IP theft rather than potentially be involved in litigation after they're gone.

Read more about the cover article and more at

What is Criminal Identity Theft?


Robert K. Minniti, CFE, CPA, CVA, CFF

On July 7, reported that King County officials entered two charges of felony identity theft against Gary Wayne Bogle. According to Washington man charged with felony ID theft, by Danielle Leigh, Bogle used his brother's identity to obtain free health care and attempted to avoid a criminal record in his own name. His brother ended up with false convictions and a destroyed credit because of unpaid hospital bills fraudulently entered under his name.

Financial identity theft occurs when someone misappropriates your personal information to open new accounts, or uses your existing bank or credit accounts to make purchases. The above case shows a newer type of identity theft — criminal identity theft — that's spreading across the country and can be even more damaging than having a criminal destroy your credit rating.

Historically, criminal identity theft meant a criminal would obtain a driver's license or state identification card using the victim's information, including their photo. The criminal would provide this identification to police officers when they were pulled over for a traffic stop or while being arrested for a crime. They'd sign for the ticket and then miss the court hearing. Or they'd be arraigned and released pending trial and then miss the trial. Because no one appeared in court, the judge would issue a bench warrant for the arrest of the victim, whose stolen personal information was used by the actual criminal.

Often the victims of this type of identity theft find out about the crime when they're arrested or terminated from their job because of an outstanding warrant. They also might struggle to find employment because some companies conduct pre-employment background checks on job applicants. Take, for example, aCalifornia woman who was detained six times by law enforcement, arrested four times, spent 20 days in jail on no-bail warrants and even had her children removed from her care by child protective services — all because she was a victim of criminal identity theft.

Read the full article, and find out tips for protecting yourself from criminal identity theft, at

ACFE Conference News Updates: Canadian Fraud Report, Calling all Super Heroes & More


Mandy Moody, CFE
ACFE Content Manager

After a few months of toying with the idea to begin reporting on more of our global events, we have officially launched a new, and much improved, We wanted to highlight more conferences, interview more speakers and cover more topics. Basically, we wanted to give you more stuff.

Here are some of the latest updates that you might want to check out:

Fraud Report to Be Released at Canada’s Largest Gathering of Anti-Fraud Professionals
According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiner’s latest report, Canadian fraudsters were more likely to receive no punishment from their employers than being asked to resign. More than 200 anti-fraud professionals will receive an early-access, exclusive look at this report during the 2016 ACFE Fraud Conference Canada, taking place in Montreal, September 11-14. Read more.

Calling all Super Heroes
We are excited to officially announce that registration for next year's conference is open. Dust off your cape, and maybe your boots, too, and plan to attend the 28th Annual ACFE Global Fraud Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, June 18-23, 2017. Read more.

You Gotta Know When to Hold 'Em...Behind Bars
When you think about Las Vegas, you probably think about the glitz and glamour of dazzling slot machines, beautiful people, spectacular shows, high-stakes casinos and a skyline that most would recognize immediately. What you might not think about is what happens behind the house. According to Sharon Tibbits, CFE, Executive Director, Fraud Control Group at MGM Resorts International, fraud is a concern in many areas of the casino industry. Read more.

How the Media Can Help Preach Fraud Awareness
While fraud examiners usually do most of their work behind the scenes to uncover fraud, they are often forced to turn over evidence and findings to organizations that keep the story of embezzlement under wraps. No company wants to freely admit that wrongdoing happened under their purview; however in order for people to understand the scope of fraud, some stories are best shared with the public. The onus to tell the story lands not on anti-fraud professionals, but another important piece in fraud awareness: the media. Read more.

We hope you enjoy this updated site and please let us know your thoughts! Find more conference news at