Guilty Until Proven Innocent


By Mandy Moody

ACFE Social Media Specialist


Did he do it? Did the investigators get the facts right? Those are just two of the many questions that Linda Saunders, CFE, CPA, CFF, CGFM, owner of Forensic Accounting Consulting, was able to answer and convey to a jury as an expert accounting witness for her first criminal defense case in Idaho. In Monday’s breakout session, “The Fraud Trial: A Case Study of the Innocent,” Saunders detailed the issues anti-fraud professionals could face when being called to provide expert testimony.

At first glance, Saunders thought she was being asked to defend a crook. The State of Idaho Attorney General, along with help from the Idaho Department of Insurance, was prosecuting an insurance agent on eight counts of insurance fraud, forgery, grand theft and racketeering. Within those counts were 134 Predicate Acts of insurance fraud, grand theft and forgery. The numbers alone would scare any possible defense witness. But, after giving due diligence, Saunders quickly realized that some mistakes had definitely been made.

“The more the case unfolded, the more I was convinced I could help unravel the journal entries and offer some sort of opinion,” Saunders said. “The prosecutor’s expert witness relied on the insurance agent’s bookkeeper’s analysis. I needed to go in and check the debits and credits myself.”

Read the full article here.