Tomorrow: The Only Line of Defense Against Fraud Existing Today


Allan Bachman, CFE
ACFE Education Manager

Reports from far afield…continued

The Monday evening ACFE networking reception was a great success; featuring food, wine, Belgian beers and, of course, opportunities to network and socialize with attendees from all over Europe. After the event, many informally coalesced and went to dinner as a group.

After some coaxing, Jeffrey Robinson, renowned financial crime author and the Tuesday morning general session speaker, put in an appearance Monday night and held court with terrific stories and personal recollections which have made him the great author he is. He was still at it well after the reception had officially concluded.

ACFE President and CEO Jim Ratley spent a lot of time reminiscing with attendees who had met him at other conferences through the years. His presence this year was much appreciated, and Jim loves interacting with members in this way.

Tuesday morning’s session led off with Robinson, who spoke on, “The New Fraud.” He said early in his presentation, “If fraud were a disease, it would not be an epidemic, it would be a pandemic.” He went on to describe some major frauds around the world, how they were perpetrated, uncovered, investigated and the outcomes. He has written extensively on the topic of fraud. Throughout his presentation he referred to the ACFE’s 2010 Report to the Nations, quoting statistics in that report to support his claims about the ubiquity of fraud and what he thinks the 21st century portends.

He made a case for hotlines, specifically mentioning EthicsLine, as a key component to what he called “Tomorrow,” an additional aspect of the fraud triangle which acts as a deterrent. “Tomorrow” is how you create the impression that fraudsters will be caught. He gave several humorous, actual cases of how creating the impression of getting caught, through simple inexpensive means, actually achieved that result.

Robinson closed saying that anti-fraud professionals like the ones in the room and the ACFE membership in general were the only line of defense against fraud existing today.

He was critical of how law enforcement, especially at the federal level, has turned away to focus on other crimes and what was once their forte has been largely ignored.

Robinson took a few questions and the audience left energized by a dynamic speaker with a lot of experience and great vignettes. Thanks to Jeffrey, and cheers to another great day in Brussels.