An Olympic Event: ACFE European Fraud Conference Wraps Up in London


Allan Bachman, CFE
ACFE Education Manager

With 34 countries represented by the more than 200 attendees, the ACFE European Fraud Conference once again showed how truly successful an international meeting of anti-fraud professionals can be. Speakers from countries like Israel, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Italy, Latvia and the Czech Republic delivered training and shared their professional expertise with an eager group.

The Conference kicked off with ACFE faculty member Cynthia Hetherington, CFE, who, in her unique style, brought the 21st century to the Old World. Her session on using social networks in fraud examinations was a huge success and left attendees wanting more. Using “live-fire” exercises with real-time social media interaction, she demonstrated ways to gather information about suspects and their likes, dislikes and interests without being detected. She clearly illustrated that what someone will not tell you to your face, they will broadcast to the world via social networks if you only know how to look for it.

ACFE President and CEO James D. Ratley, CFE, opened Monday in his inimitable style. His session on conducting internal investigations was the tip of the iceberg, but left attendees scribbling notes long after he had finished his session. His laid back approach and humor were refreshing to European attendees, and his tips on obtaining a confession even caught the attention of one attendee and his YouTube channel, The Fraud Tube (watch the video here).

The luncheon speaker, Carman Lapointe, CFE, CIA, CCSA, Under-Secretary-General of the Office of Internal Oversight Services at the United Nations, detailed her mission. Her attempt to recruit for some of her mission’s more dangerous assignments brought home the real personal risk to anti-fraud professionals.

The evening networking reception was well attended and a great respite from a long day of serious discussion. Well attended and a chance to make evening plans, these receptions are always a good opportunity to take it down a notch.

Tuesday opened with a keynote from Stephen Harrison, current head of the UK’s National Fraud Authority. Mr. Harrison was detailed in discussing their important strategic objectives, priorities and the NFIB’s (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau) efforts to coordinate fraud reporting and enforcement. The initiative has produced informational videos detailing their goals and tips on how to prevent fraud.

Once again the breakout session and closing panel were captivating and generously complimented. Luncheon speaker and author Nick Kochan was blunt in his assessment of the current state of money laundering, a subject about which he has written extensively.

Like all good things, this too had to come to an end. Mr. Ratley is off to Istanbul, the attendees are off to their respective home countries and I am left to begin to think about how to top this next year.

Want more? View photos from the 2012 ACFE European Fraud Conference on the ACFE's Facebook page.