Getting an Education Through Our CFEs


Cora Bullock
Assistant Editor, Fraud Magazine

I've been at the ACFE for a year and a half now, and I feel like I've barely scratched the surface of fraud. Our founder and Chairman, Dr. Joseph Wells, CFE, CPA, organized all the categories of fraud into the Fraud Tree, which I have posted in my office. But it's still a dizzying array of technical terms. And who are these people who earn the CFE credential? I've met many members, but really only in passing, and I haven't been able to delve into their motivations for what they do.

That's why I love being in charge of a column that we began with our Fraud Magazine redesign in the March/April issue: "I'm a CFE." I interview CFEs who are out there in the trenches, working cases, and we have a professional photographer come out to their workplace for a photo shoot. I winnow their replies down to sound bites full of concrete information told in layman's terms, and you, the reader, hopefully enjoy the result.

I've learned that these CFEs are down-to-earth people determined in what they do, who are humbled by the victims they encounter. Each CFE I've interviewed has said they never forget the victims. They also discuss lessons from their biggest cases. One CFE, a district attorney investigator, said he told one person they'd never receive restitution because the thief was a drug addict. Well, that thief served his time, cleaned up and did make restitution. Another CFE, a vice president chief security officer at a bank, mentioned, "You can have the latest and greatest technology on the market and still need old-fashioned investigative skills to catch crooks."

They also discuss earning their CFE credential. More than one has admitted to feeling intimidated by the exam, but all of them worked hard and earned their credential, which has made a big difference in their careers and the respect of their peers.

If you know of a CFE or are a CFE who would be interested in contributing a profile, please contact me. I'll love getting to know you and what makes you tick!