Spread the Word: Fraud Week is Nov. 16-22

GUEST BLOGGER

Scott Patterson, CFE
ACFE Senior Media Relations Specialist

Fraud is a problem facing companies of all sizes and employees in all departments. But in contrast to days past when companies only reacted to fraud after the fact, organizations are now being more proactive in addressing risk and compliance issues head-on. Organizations like USAA, Lowe’s, Wyndham Resorts, the U.S. Department of Labor, Barclays, IBM and more have signed up to support the upcoming International Fraud Awareness Week, November 16-22. They have stepped forward at a time when entities lose an estimated 5 percent of their revenues to fraud (according the ACFE’s 2014 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse). Known as “Fraud Week,” this important movement has come a long way since its humble beginning back in 2000. In fact, there are now more than 1,000 organizations registered as Official Supporters, including large corporations, small businesses, government agencies, boutique accounting firms, nonprofit organizations and ACFE chapters worldwide.

One of the best things about Fraud Week is that it presents a unique opportunity to share free anti-fraud resources and best practices with organizations that want to raise awareness among their employees, clients and even the general public.

Available in the resources section of FraudWeek.com, our new “Cost of Complacency” infographic helps anyone visualize the heightened impact of fraud when it is not detected early and through proactive measures. The infographic makes a great feature for company websites, employee newsletters and to send to the media with a personalized message from an Official Supporter of Fraud Week.

Also new this year is a printable handout, “5 Fraud Tips Every Business Leader Should Act On,” perfect for sharing with colleagues and clients or handing out at presentations. The one-pager encourages common-sense measures such as establishing formal hiring procedures and implementing a fraud hotline.

We have also updated the downloadable Fraud Week logo and customizable press release to help you publicize your proactive stance against fraud. These items and more are available in the Featured Resources section on FraudWeek.com.

During (and around) the week of November 16-22, Official Supporters will host fraud awareness trainings for employees, conduct employee surveys to assess levels of fraud preparedness, post articles on company websites, newsletters and social media, and team with local news sources to promote fraud prevention and detection.

It’s only a few weeks away. What do you have planned for Fraud Week?

A Look Inside: ACFE Asia-Pacific Conference offers speakers with stories you could only imagine

AUTHOR’S POST

Mandy Moody, CFE
ACFE Social Media Specialist

I am not going to lie; I often like to think of my life as a long, dramatic Hollywood movie (key word: think). At times, it feels like a drama (thanks to my two-year old). Other times it feels like a comedy (I am known to tell a few jokes at the expense of my friends and family). And, on the rare occasion, it feels like an incredible tragedy (a missed promotion, the loss of a friend, the realization that I cannot be “Mom of the Year” all of the time). But, for me these genres are just examples of the way my life feels; not how it is. For Michael Woodford, former Olympus CEO and whistleblower, his life over the past five years actually is like (and will soon be) a blockbuster movie. His story of exposing a $1.7 billion fraud with rumored connections to the Japanese mafia sounds like a Hollywood thriller, a thriller he will share during his keynote address at the upcoming 2014 ACFE Asia-Pacific Fraud Conference in Hong Kong, November 16-18. Hear a clip below from Woodford speaking at the ACFE Global Fraud Conference in 2012.

Woodford, however, will not be the only speaker giving an inside look at his life. Below is the full list of speakers telling their stories:

  • Michael Woodford, Olympus Whistleblower, UK
    After 30 years with Olympus, Woodford confronted its Board of Directors on multiple occasions asking for answers to financial discrepancies and even delivered a commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers investigation report. He was abruptly fired Oct. 14, 2011, by the company’s executive board because of what the board cited as a “management culture clash.” Just one month later, Olympus officials publicly admitted to the U.S. FBI and UK Serious Fraud Office to having paid fraudulent advisory fees in a decade-long cover up valuing $1.7 billion. 
  • Albert Hui, CISA, CISM GCFA, GCFE, Principal Consultant, Security Ronin, Hong Kong
    Having spent years breaking and protecting information technology systems for investment banks and government and national critical infrastructures, Hui is an expert on high-sensitivity mission-critical systems security.
  • David Barboza, Correspondent, The New York Times, China
    In 2013, Barboza was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting “for his striking exposure of corruption at high levels of the Chinese government, including billions in secret wealth owned by relatives of the prime minister, well documented work published in the face of heavy pressure from the Chinese officials.”
  • Paul Chung, Deputy Head of the Financial Investigations Division of Narcotics Bureau, Hong Kong Police, Hong Kong
    Chung is an AML expert with more than 15 years of experience on financial investigation and financial intelligence handling. He also has experience in handling complex fraud investigation, including boiler room fraud, franchise fraud, LC fraud, instalment fraud and insurance fraud.
  • D. Bruce Dorris, J.D., CFE, CPA, CVA, Vice President and Program Director, ACFE
    Dorris is the Vice President and Program Director for the ACFE. As an Assistant District Attorney for the Caddo Parish District Attorney's Office in Shreveport, La., Dorris created and was the Director of its Financial Crimes Screening Section. He has testified numerous times before legislative committees and was a frequent lecturer with prosecutor and accountant training associations.

You can find more information about the 2014 ACFE Asia-Pacific Fraud Conference at ACFE.com/AsiaPac. Early registration ends tomorrow!

For CFE, Crime-fighting Runs in the Family

MEMBER PROFILE

Ashley Koroluk, CFE
Investigative Financial Crime Analyst, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Regina, Saskatchewan

Ashley Koroluk hails from a law enforcement family – yet, in her civilian member role, she brings an intense focus to detecting fraud and fighting white-collar crime. In this interview with the ACFE, Koroluk shares the challenges and responsibilities that come with her position, along with some words of wisdom for her colleagues in the anti-fraud profession.

What led you to this line of work?
Law enforcement is definitely in my blood. My father was a member of the RCMP for more than 33 years and continues to work with law enforcement as the Director of the Saskatchewan Witness Protection Program. My brother and fiancé are current RCMP members. I, however, was not interested in becoming a police officer. When the RCMP created this civilian member role, I knew it would be a perfect fit for my inquisitive nature while utilizing my business, financial and economic background. This position allows me to be part investigator, part intelligence analyst and part accountant. I also knew this would be a rewarding role where I could make a difference by helping others, specifically with preventing financial victimization and hopefully recovering proceeds of crime for victims. This role is the only one of its kind in Saskatchewan, which keeps me extremely busy, but allows me to work on new and interesting investigations, constantly keeping me challenged.
 
Which types of frauds are the most interesting to you?
I find fraudsters involved in corruption and large-scale investment fraud to be the most interesting because they are usually highly educated, well-respected and are purely motivated by greed and arrogance. For me, successful enforcement actions on these types are the most rewarding.

Believe it or not, I am passionate about every investigation because I have never worked on any that were the same. I learn something new each day and with every investigation. One investigation where I was particularly invested in was one that started out as a basic NSF (non-sufficient funds) check complaint. Through a tactical analysis I gathered enough information to formulate an indication that a fraud in progress was occurring. I gave presentations to upper management decision makers so they could get a taste and grasp of what my analysis showed and the magnitude of the fraud. This led to additional resources assisting me with further investigation, which in turn led to its development of one of the province’s highest priority projects and the first completely integrated organized crime investigation containing elements of fraud, drugs and proceeds of crime.
 
What do you think are some of the most important things for fraud examiners to keep in mind when working to prevent and detect fraud? Is there an element that requires the most focus for you?
Fraud examiners should be mindful that they are gathering evidence and reporting the facts, not expressing opinions. Two qualities that have really paid off for me in all of the investigations I have worked on, that are often overlooked or forgotten, are being creative and persistent. Financial crime investigations can be complex, take a lot of time, resources and money and at least in the law enforcement world, sometimes have to be sold to upper management and the prosecutors because they aren’t the “sexy” guns and drugs type of files.

 
What advice do you have for other fraud examiners who would follow in your footsteps?
Whether you are working for law enforcement in the criminal realm, or in any private or civil area, the following will assist you:

  • Seek out a mentor – you will benefit immensely from their experiences and wisdom.
  • Listen to and rely on your investigative intuition and trust your instincts.  
  • The more investigative experience you gain, the more better equipped you’ll be to deal with fraud.
  • Analytical skills are extremely important. Let all the data and the facts guide your analysis and conclusions to not only understand and formulate the big picture of what is going (or went on) but also the why and how things occurred as they did.
  • Definitely get your ACFE certification and become involved with the local ACFE chapters and attend the ACFE conferences. This is a great way to meet others and build relationships with like-minded fraud fighters.

 Get more insight from Ashley by reading her full profile on ACFE.com.