Dr. Maria Krambia Kapardis already has a long list of accolades in the anti-fraud industry. She helped found the ACFE Cyprus Chapter and Transparency International Cyprus. With her advocacy work and research, she has worked with the Ministry of Justice and Public Order in Cyprus to prepare legislations on whistleblower protection, lobbying and asset declaration for elected politicians. She also worked with Cyprus’ President to create a national action plan against corruption and helped set up an anti-corruption agency, all while maintaining her full-time job as an associate professor at Cyprus University of Technology. For her efforts, she was recently named the 2019 winner of the ACFE’s Outstanding Achievement in Outreach/Community Service Award.Read More
Dante Fuentes, CFE, Chief Compliance Officer
“Think fraud, fight fraud, anytime, anywhere. Sacrifice for the good of others,” says Dante Fuentes, CFE. Raised in one of the most populated cities in the Philippines, Fuentes is Chief Compliance Officer for Security Bank, one of the top 10 local banks in the Philippines. Fuentes is also president of his local ACFE chapter and finds that the most rewarding aspect of his job is that he is able to help others reach their full potential from the training he gives them. “I am able to coach and mentor, learn skills that better myself, and I am able to pay it forward and assist someone else in the same way.”
When did you become passionate about fighting fraud?
I became passionate about fighting fraud when I worked in a bank in 1978 as a savings account bookkeeper.
What do you think contributed to your success moving into your current position?
More than the experience, the training I received from the ACFE helped me improve and achieve my goals in my current positions.
What does your current role entail?
As the Chief Compliance Officer at Security Bank, part of my job is not only to help prevent misdemeanors and fraud in the organization, but also to lead money laundering investigations. I am the lead senior officer for purposes of administering the compliance program and interacting with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines) on compliance-related issues. I also oversee the design of an appropriate compliance system, promote its effective implementation and address breaches that may arise. I report the matter to the Board, and recommend the imposition of appropriate disciplinary action on the guilty parties and the adoption of measures to prevent a repetition of the violation. I am responsible for ensuring the integrity and accuracy of all documentary submissions to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. My job requires me to have the commensurate skills and expertise to provide appropriate guidance and direction to the bank on the development, implementation and maintenance of the compliance program.
My other affiliations, such as being the president of the ACFE local chapter (ACFE – Philippines), the president of the Association of Bank Compliance Officers, Inc. (ABCOMP) and one of the Senior Advisers of the Good Governance Advocates and Practitioners of the Philippines (GGAPP), entails managing/administering my peers on matters related to fraud detection and prevention from which the knowledge and experience I acquired from being a CFE was a big help.
What are the best opportunities for someone entering into your career?
The best opportunity for someone entering into a career like mine would be the experience gained through the years of exposure in your field of endeavor and proper training.
What do you wish you knew (but didn’t) when you first contemplated this career?
I wish I knew in the early part of my career that there was a formal organization of fraud warriors.
Is there a memorable case or project that you have worked on?
Indeed I do. My most memorable case with fraud was very painful. Early in my career, I investigated my best friend, who was my co-employee in a bank. He recommended me to the bank where we both worked, and his parents and my parents are very close friends. When my best friend was suspected to have abstracted cash, I was assigned to do the investigation and make a recommendation. The problem was, should I exonerate my friend or do what is right? I chose to do what is right. My best friend was terminated. I did not realize then that I had to go through and experience this emotional process and overcome it to be a better fraud fighter.
After the first experience, almost 200 more fraud investigations followed. Most of the fraud cases I have investigated in the banks I worked with were committed by first-time offenders, therefore easier to investigate and prosecute – unlike a money laundering investigation which is a more complex and sophisticated fraud committed by seasoned, learned and mostly powerful people.
What do you consider to be the most important values a CFE must have?
The most important values of a CFE are to have a strong character and moral integrity.
When you are not working, what types of things do you enjoy doing?
My Monday and Wednesday nights are for bowling. This is my “me” time with friends. In fact, I just bought my new bowling shoes when I attended the conference in Baltimore.
Read Dante's full profile in the Career Center on ACFE.com.
#1: ENHANCE THE MEMBER EXPERIENCE
There is not one decision we make here at the ACFE that doesn’t involve asking ourselves, “What does this mean for our members?” When we redesigned ACFE.com a couple of years ago, we got stuck on a few design options, so we went to our experts, our members, to tell us what looked best. When we created a new welcome packet for members, we sent drafts to our members so they could tell us what was most user-friendly and beneficial. When we needed speaker and topic suggestions for our seminars, events and courses, our members were the first people we asked for ideas.
The decisions to improve the CFE Exam application and Continuing Professional Education (CPE) certification processes this year are no different. In 2014, we will move the CFE Exam application process from a paper-driven process to an easy-to-use electronic process. The new exam application process will allow applicants to track the progress of their exam application, upload documentation directly to us and view messages from the Certification department on what actions are needed.
We also plan to help existing CFEs, not just those about to become CFEs. In 2014, we will be rolling out a CPE online portal for CFEs to track online the CPE credits they’ve earned. They can use this feature to upload documentation and certify compliance for the CFE once the proper amount of credits has been earned.
“We’re always thinking about our members and how we can improve their interactions with us, improve their professional lives and make things easier,” said Ross Pry, CFE, ACFE Director of Membership. “We have a firm belief that our members are everything and we thrive on working with them. I’m confident these new tools will save them time and make their membership mean even more.”
You can expect to see these changes roll out in the coming months. We hope that these improvements save you time, and most of all, allow you to take the CFE Exam and keep up with your CPE in the most efficient ways possible.
Ross Pry, CFE
ACFE Membership Director
In the almost seven years that I have been with the ACFE I have enjoyed a lot of “firsts.” I have gotten married, bought a house and earlier this month celebrated my daughter’s first birthday. Through her first year of life, I’ve been fortunate enough to see what pure joy looks like, and it was on full display as she devoured her birthday cake. With icing covering her hands, face and even the wispy hairs on the back of her head I was reminded of how much fun it is to experience something new.
I recently became the Director of Membership and am excited to be back in the department where I “first” got my start. We strive to provide members with great benefits and, as a staff, we are always looking to improve the member experience. With our members in mind, we have recently created the following new benefits:
- Free webinars: This past year, we hosted seven free hour-long webinars for members to earn CPE credit. You can listen to the archives here. We have also recently launched free career-related webinars through the ACFE Career Center.
- Free white papers: Industry-leading companies provide us with white papers that cover a variety of topics, including industry-specific trends, case studies on famous frauds and new technology to help in the fight against fraud. Check the Fraud Magazine website regularly updated white papers.
- Podcasts: The ACFE just launched Fraud Talk, interviews with the industry’s leading experts addressing fraud issues, providing insight on case studies and new tools to aid in the detection and prevention of fraud. You can listen to the podcast online, or download it as an MP3 file. Bookmark this page and check back monthly for updated content.
- Resource library: For a centralized location of ACFE resources, click here for videos, publications, reports, sample documents and tools. The ACFE also publishes reports like the 2012 Report to the Nations and the Compensation Guide.
- Training materials: We recently created an employee training program for CFEs to teach about common types of fraud, the warning signs of fraud and what to do if employees suspect fraud. Fraud’s Hidden Cost to You and Your Organization is a downloadable training video, workbook and slide set to help educate employees about fraud.
We look forward to continuing to serve and support our members with their careers, and as the ACFE continues to grow so does our focus and commitment to members.
ACFE Social Media Specialist
My parents were both notorious for quoting one-liners they had picked up from old television shows (I think they had color back then) or recalled from inspirational books and sermons. Many Saturday mornings began with my mother knocking on my bedroom door and yelling with a slight Southern twang, “Rise and shine,” and just as many Sunday evenings closed with my father tucking me in my bed explaining, “Life is like a boomerang, Mandy. You always get back what you give.” Today, I pass on these colloquial, yet universal, bits of advice as you think about the different ways you can get the most out of your ACFE membership. For many of you, if not all, membership can be much more than a certificate, an acronym or even a conference.
Here are a few ways you may not have known about:
- Serve on the ACFE Advisory Council – provide your expert opinion and feedback on soon-to-be-released ACFE course materials, products, case studies, events and seminars. Apply now.
- Get Involved in Your Local Chapter– earn CPE locally and network with CFEs in your area by joining an ACFE Chapter. Join now.
- Sign up to Speak– share you expertise as a presenter at an ACFE training event, conference or webinar. Sign up now.
- Publish Your Work – submit an article for publication in Fraud Magazine or the ACFE’s blog, ACFE Insights. Gain exposure for your name and business by becoming a subject matter expert online or in the magazine. Submit an article now.
For any questions, or advice, you can always give us a call or email us here at the ACFE.