Closing the Gaps in China’s Laws and Regulations


Former Head of Hong Kong's Central Policy Unit, author and research fellow of the Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research; keynote speaker at the 2012 ACFE Asia-Pacific Fraud Conference, 4-6 November in Hong Kong

You plan to speak on China’s dysfunctional banking system and its need for reform despite years of attempts. What role do anti-fraud professionals play in changing that trend?

The progress of banking and financial reforms in China has been repeatedly undermined by problems of law enforcement. So much of banking is based on trust, and its products are mostly book entries – computer transfers from one account to another – that fraud is a constant danger. This threat is best controlled when governments have effective, proactive regulatory and supervisory systems. Fraud thrives when banks, their owners and executives ignore the need to avoid illegal and improper behaviour. Before the switch from central planning and total state control over every aspect of life in the late 1970s, the Chinese banking industry had been simply the government’s paymaster and bookkeeper, as well as offering a safe savings bank to the nation’s citizens. Over the last 35 years, the leaders of the banking industry have been struggling to build, virtually from scratch, the legal systems, the regulatory infrastructure and the banking professionals needed by a national economy which has become the second largest in the world. Wherever a gap still remains in the law or the regulatory apparatus, the door remains ajar for the fraudster; and the temptations are large. The risk of detection is limited by defects in legislation, supervision and management. You see this in the way the nation’s leaders regularly complain in public.

What is unique about the group of fraud-fighters you will address in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong’s record in eliminating malpractice in business and government is extraordinary. In the late 1960s, it introduced some of the most draconian legislation in the world against misconduct by business executives and officials in order to stamp out corruption. In 1974, the battle was won almost overnight when the community made plain that it would accept nothing less than zero tolerance of all dishonest and corrupt practices in the public sector. Quite soon, the same standard was applied to the private business world. Thus fraud fighters have a great advantage in Hong Kong in that they have total community and government support. The Independent Commission Against Corruption ensures that law enforcement agencies are open to investigation if they are suspected of engaging in corrupt conspiracies to conceal fraud. Hong Kong’s increasing importance as the international financial centre meeting China’s needs and matching New York and London in its standards means that the professional and supporting services for business expect to comply with world-best practices when it comes to due diligence, compliance and accounting procedures.  

What do you most hope attendees will take away from your address?

The basic message of my presentation is the determination of China’s leaders to create a modern, competitive and stable banking system, free from fraud and corruption, no matter how long it takes to overcome the obstacles. The goal is to achieve the integrity and efficiency the public expects to be able to take for granted from its bankers. But the banks cannot escape from the constraints that the rest of the economy and society in general face. Throughout the reform decades, it is encouraging that China’s central bankers and regulatory officials have consistently drawn public attention to the financial system’s failings and never sought to create a false sense of security among the Chinese people.

Read more about Professor Goodstadt and the other keynote speakers at this year’s ACFE Asia-Pacific Fraud Conference.

Asia-Pac Conference Heads to Hong Kong for First Time this November



Mandy Moody

ACFE Social Media Specialist

As fraudulent activity, bribery and corruption continue to grow internationally, so does the ACFE. We are proud to boast nearly 65,000 members worldwide. And, in the past few months, the ACFE has responded to membership growth and the interest in fraud prevention and detection in the Asia-Pacific region. We have opened up an office in Singapore and we will be hosting the 2012 ACFE Asia-Pacific Fraud Conference in Hong Kong for the first time, 4-6 November, at the Kowloon Shangri-La Hong Kong.

However, our strength does not just lie in our numbers; it lies in the training, education and experience of our members. These members, along with renowned keynote presenters and the industry’s leading experts, will be at the Asia-Pacific Fraud Conference ready and willing to network, share and learn.

Here are some sessions to look forward to:

  • General Session: Kevin Zervos, SC, Director of Public Prosecutions, Hong Kong Department of Justice
  • Over the past 25 years, Zervos has specialised in credit card and currency frauds, banking and corporate frauds, infringement of intellectual property, money laundering and corruption. He plans to give attendees “An Inside Look at the Fight Against White Collar Crime” in Hong Kong.
  • Panel Discussion: Investigating Within Differing Legal Jurisdictions
  • ACFE Regent Roger Darvall-Stevens, CFE, will moderate a panel of experts during an interactive discussion on the challenges of conducting a fraud investigation that spans international borders. The panel also includes Zervos and Brent Carlson, Director at AlixPartners.
  • Breakout Session: How the Fraudsters Fool the Auditors
  • There are many reasons why an audit can go awry: lack of funds to perform a sound audit, conflicts of interest and inexperience of the person performing the audit. Angela Clancy, CA, Senior Manager at PPB Advisory, warns of these risks and more by dissecting a case from investigation to prosecution.

We look forward to seeing you in Hong Kong! For the full programme and to view a conference agenda, visit

Greetings from Sunny Singapore



Dewi Malik

Business Support Manager

ACFE Asia Pacific Regional Service Centre

Combatting fraud has no geographical boundaries. That is why the nature of fraud in global business today calls for an international presence. With the opening of the new Asia-Pacific office in Singapore we wish to strengthen our presence throughout this area and beyond. We also want to greatly improve support for our ACFE members in the region.

My colleagues and I are extremely excited to be a part of this huge step towards fulfilling ACFE's No. 3 New Year's Resolution-Expand International Growth Efforts to New Regions. This move to set up an ACFE office in the hub of Singapore truly represents the astounding membership growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

The ACFE Asia-Pacific office offers timely language-specific support to new, existing and potential members in this culturally diverse region. Whether you are from Korea, Japan, Australia or China, my colleagues and I are here to answer any queries or give feedback relating to the ACFE's membership, conferences, programmes and services. In addition to English, we have support staff members well-versed in Mandarin, Japanese and Korean.

I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to join the global ACFE family. I hope to be able to meet you and colleagues from around the world at the upcoming 2012 ACFE Asia-Pacific Fraud Conferencein Hong Kong, 4-6 November 2012.

We welcome your queries and feedback. Please contact us at +65 6496 5503 or I certainly hope to speak with you soon.

The Passion of a Fraud Fighter


John Gill, J.D., CFE
ACFE Vice President of Education

Last week, Bruce Dorris, J.D., CFE, CPA and ACFE Program Director, and I had the great pleasure of flying to Singapore to teach the first CFE Exam Review Course outside the U.S. Although Bruce and I have taught the U.S. version of the course many times, this was the first time we taught the international version for the public.

The reception we received could not have been warmer. Everyone in the class was so nice, and they were so excited that we held the first international class in the Asia-Pacific region. We met people from Singapore, Indonesia, India, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Australia and even Kenya! It was really exciting to have such an international crowd.

As I mentioned, I teach about a dozen classes in the U.S. each year, and I travel from Las Vegas to New York City to Los Angeles to teach the Review Course. What struck me the most last week was not how much the Singapore class was different from the courses I teach in the States, but how much it was exactly the same. It really hit home to me that ACFE members have a strong bond that knows no borders. It doesn’t matter where we are located, how much experience we have or even what industry we work in. We all share the same passion: to understand how fraud is committed and do everything we can to find those responsible. The dedication to fighting fraud I saw in each person was very inspiring.

I can’t tell you what a thrill it was to meet them (even though it took me 25 hours to get there!) and I am proud to be a part of such a truly global association.

Pictured: Krishnamah Sanmugam just after she found out she passed the first part of the CFE Exam. View more photos from the event on our Facebook page.

Supporting International Chapters


James D. Ratley, CFE
ACFE President and CEO

At the end of October and beginning of November, I spent a whirlwind two weeks attending our Asia-Pac Conference in Singapore and meeting with our chapters in Singapore, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Mexico City. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know many of you and learning about your unique fraud-related issues.

Everywhere I went I met extremely gracious people who did everything they could for us. My job was to listen carefully to their suggestions for improving our services.

The first stop was to vibrant and beautiful Singapore — my first visit and also the first time the city has hosted our 2011 Asia-Pacific Fraud Conference (formerly known as the ACFE Pacific-Rim Fraud Conference). Nearly 200 attendees networked and attended workshops and panel discussions. 

I enjoyed meeting Gatot Trihargo, CFE, president of the Indonesia Chapter (established in 2002), who provided the same generous hospitality I encountered with other chapters. He was appreciative of the ACFE’s effort to send me there. I presented to nearly 80 members and public- and private-sector guests.

"Chapter activity has become very intense since 2010, by us conducting monthly discussions/workshops for the members and other practitioners," Trihargo said. "The chapter also successfully conducted two annual congresses and seminars in 2010 and 2011, which gathered more than 200 participants for each session, with both domestic and international speakers."

After Jakarta, I jetted off to Hong Kong, with its exotic mix of the old and new. "We’re excited that the ACFE is turning its attention to Asia," said Hong Kong chapter president Penny Sui-Ping Fung, CFE. "Jim’s visit to Hong Kong no doubt has helped to reinforce this message and reminded people of the role of professional fraud examiners in a robust and sustainable economy."

Read the full Letter From the President on