CFEs Share Their Most Memorable Fraud Cases


Mandy Moody, CFE
ACFE Content Manager

According the the ACFE's latest Benchmarking Report for in-house investigation teams, the majority of fraud investigation teams (60%) take one month to close a case. But, as we all know, each case is different. Some can take six weeks to close and some can take six years. For this year's International Fraud Awareness Week, happening this week, we wanted to share a few of your colleagues most memorable cases. Let us celebrate the hard work and time you put in to each and every case you work on, and hear about why some cases will never be forgotten.

“Usually our audits are done after end of year. There was one occasion, however, where we undertook a real-time audit during a national emergency and exposed high levels of fraud and misappropriation of assets. The report was widely publicized and led to parliamentary scrutiny, which was aired live on national television for the first time in our history. In an unprecedented move, high-ranking public servants were suspended without pay for six months and recoveries of monies lost in taxes and undelivered goods were recovered.”

- Adama Renner, CFE, FCA, Deputy Audit General, Audit Service, Sierra Leone

“I’d say the one that I was most proud of was a simple travel and expense case. The company asked us for help on an investigation into an executive assistant (EA) who was using the bosses’ (there were multiple that this EA worked for) credit cards in a fraudulent manner — purchasing personal items, taking trips with friends, that type of thing. All in all it was a straightforward case, but what I was so proud of was when we finished going through all the supporting documentation, it was handed over to the general counsel, who in turn gave it to the police. When we got an update on what happened, we were told the police thanked them for wrapping it up in a nice little bow because it made the prosecution extremely easy. I guess it’s the simple things in life sometimes!”

- Michael D’Alessandro, CFE, CPA, Corporate Risk and Compliance Manager, Sony Corporation of America  

“After moving to London in 2005, I worked at the headquarters of the Commonwealth Secretariat, an intergovernmental organization. It provides technical assistance in the promotion of the rule of law and good governance with a focus on sharing best practices and capacity building. I oversaw the organization of international anti-corruption and counter-terrorism conferences and training sessions in London, Jamaica and Malaysia. This entailed close collaboration with a highly diverse range of subject matter experts, including those at Scotland Yard, as well as government officials, criminal law experts and policy researchers in various nations. We worked towards very tight deadlines across three time zones, two of which were at the opposing ends of the globe. It was equally challenging, thrilling and rewarding. Germany is not a member of the Commonwealth, which meant I could only hold a temporary position (and was the only German), but having the opportunity to work with those high-caliber passionate fraud fighters and senior lawyers was deeply inspiring and presented a lasting influence.”

- Britta Bohlinger, CFE, MA, BSc, Founding Director, RisikoKlár

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