Freeh Lauds ACFE for Professionalism and Reputation


Dick Carozza, CFE
Editor, Fraud Magazine

“What’s critical about your organization and reputation,” said former FBI Director Louis Freeh during the Monday Working Lunch, “is the interaction and interconnectivity that you bring between the government and the private anti-fraud community and establishment. That did not exist for many years for the most of the history of the FBI.”

Freeh said during his FBI tenure he often had ACFE members accompany him and become heavily involved in investigations. Now as chair of Freeh Group International Solutions, LLC, a Pepper Hamilton LLP group, he continues to closely work with Certified Fraud Examiners (CFEs).

Freeh, during his keynote, shared some of the lessons he learned during his FBI tenure and extolled the virtues of ACFE members. 

“One of the biggest things that has changed is the technology that is available to investigators,” he said. “I just spoke at the second circuit [judges’] conference in New York. And the theme of all the judges in that circuit was the impact of technology on being a judge and particularly focusing on cyber crime, cyber technology and cyber terrorism. There were a number from leading technology companies giving insights as it impacts judges — judges who have to explain complicated cases to juries but also have to understand the provenance and integrity of evidence, which now comes from different platforms.”

Freeh reminisced about the state of technology in 1975 in the New York City FBI office. “In one case, we had … to surreptitiously record an organized crime guy’s conversation so we called our lab and we asked for the best cutting-edge technology they had. So they sent up a pair of shoes. The microphone was embedded in the shoes! Probably they were 12 ½ quadruple E shoes. And the first statement by the subject on the tape was, ‘John, what’s the matter with your feet?’ ”

Though technology is now light years from 1975 microphone shoes, some things have not changed, Freeh said. “The most important ‘value add’ that [ACFE members] bring to the anti-fraud community and the law enforcement community is … incredible experience and depth. 

“It’s not a coincidence that two of your largest government communities [with ACFE members] are the IRS and the FBI. Because the synergies and the ability to share information there is unprecedented in our history,” he said. “You bring, I know from my own investigations, and sitting on boards, tremendous credibility because of your education, your certification, your reputation is just a sterling contribution to the anti-fraud community and the efforts that you bring on behalf of private clients and corporations,” Freeh said. 

“Many of you work for the government by contract or otherwise and that information and that relationship is a very, very special one. It evolved over a long period of time. And the Bureau has evolved over a long period of time,” he said. 

“The disability that the Bureau, and most government agencies have, is that they tend to react to external changes and tend to train, equip and pass statutory authorizations as a result of things that are coming to them from the outside as opposed to proactive, inside innovative thinking,” Freeh said.

He said the first FBI bureau investigators in 1908 — Treasury Department employees — weren’t gunslingers or bank robbery investigators; they were accountants. “They had no weapons; they had no authority to arrest anybody. That didn’t come until 1933. But it evolved due to the necessity of dealing with financial crime.” Then more outside changes influenced the FBI to investigate bank robberies, organized crime and narcotics, he said. 

He said that after 9/11, counter-terrorism has become the necessary, but totally, consuming preoccupation of resources and programs and statutory authority. “Now, finally after the recession, the programs and the focus on serious global economic crime and cybercrime have been resuscitated,” Freeh said.    

You can find more coverage from the ACFE Global Fraud Conference at

Living By a Code as You Travel Down the Road


James D. Ratley, CFE
ACFE President and CEO

“You who are on the road, must have a code that you can live by …” We’re all on the road, and it sure makes the journey more bearable if we have a set of directions we can tack on the wall. (That opening line from Graham Nash’s “Teach Your Children” has helped a few parents through the years.)

CFEs have a Code of Ethics — it’s good for us to occasionally pull it out and remind ourselves that “Certified Fraud Examiners shall, at all times, demonstrate a commitment to professionalism and diligence in the performance of his or her duties.” That list reminds us — especially when we feel we’re rolling that stone up the mountain again — that our good efforts aren’t for naught.

The FBI has a list of Core Values that its employees pledge to follow. Those values include: respect for the dignity of those they protect, compassion, fairness and uncompromising personal and institutional integrity. 

Louis Freeh, when he was the bureau’s director, helped write that code because he wanted his people to be just and compassionate. “We who enforce the law must not merely obey it,” Freeh wrote in a message to his employees when he issued the code. “We have an obligation to set a moral example, which those whom we protect can follow. … [T]hese core values are the fiber, which holds together the vitality of our institution.”

When you read the the latest Fraud Magazine cover article on Freeh, you’ll see that he quietly tries to obey the FBI’s code even now as he runs his investigative firm. A married father of six, he still works to keep his wife and six children the top priorities in his life even though his job schedule hasn’t abated. I’m impressed that he’s been able to blend his law enforcement career with raising a large family.

[Freeh will be a keynote speaker at the 25th Annual ACFE Global Fraud Conference along with Peter Eigen, founder of Transparency International; Martin Kenney, international asset recovery expert; and cyber-security expert Marc Goodman.]

Living by a code — it’s indispensable for CFEs as they travel down the road.  

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Keynotes Announced for ACFE Global Fraud Conference in San Antonio, Texas



Mandy Moody, CFE
ACFE Social Media Specialist

“No matter where you are in your career, you will benefit from this conference.” “To have such a wide variety of topics and individuals is truly unique.” “There is something for everybody.” These are just a handful of the comments I recently heard when conducting video interviews with some of our ACFE faculty about the ACFE Global Fraud Conference. I hear feedback like this regularly, some solicited and some not. The selection of concurrent sessions, Pre- and Post-Conference sessions and keynotes is diverse; it spans industries, job levels, interests and even career goals. This year we will have more than 70 concurrent sessions to choose from and five keynote sessions I am excited to announce.

Here is the lineup so far:

  • Louis Freeh, Former Director, FBI, “Corporate America's Top Investigator”
    Dubbed “the singularly best-suited person in America to run the FBI” by former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Freeh has been heralded for transforming the FBI into a global security institution. During his eight-year tenure, he visited 62 countries and met with more than 2,000 foreign leaders while increasing the FBI’s focus on counterintelligence, cybercrime and electronic surveillance. Freeh has kept his investigation skills sharp through his involvement in several high-profile cases with Penn State, MF Global and BP.
  • Peter Eigen, Founder, Transparency International
    Prof. Dr. Peter Eigen has worked in economic development and governance for several decades and has led initiatives for better global governance and the fight against corruption.
  • Martin Kenney, International Asset Recovery Expert
    Kenney's work as a global asset chaser has resulted in recovering billions of dollars in ill-gotten gains from fraudsters; he is widely regarded as a groundbreaker in his field.
  • Marc Goodman, Global Strategist, Cyber Security Expert, Senior Advisor, Interpol Steering Committee on Information Technology Crime
    Over the past 20 years, Goodman has built his expertise in security threats such as cybercrime and cyber terrorism, working with organizations such as Interpol, the United Nations and NATO.
  • Dinesh Thakur, Ranbaxy Whistleblower
    Eighty percent of prescriptions dispensed in the U.S. contain foreign sourced ingredients and more than 40 percent of the prescriptions are fully manufactured overseas. Former Ranbaxy Laboratories (an India based pharma company) executive Dinesh Thakur discovered that the company was falsifying drug data and violating current good manufacturing and laboratory practices in order to gain competitive advantage in the U.S. market. His eight-year collaboration with the U.S. FDA and the Department of Justice to unravel the dangerous fraud led to a 2013 guilty plea by Ranbaxy and a groundbreaking $500 million settlement, the largest  of its kind against a generic drug manufacturer.

I look forward to seeing you and nearly 3,000 anti-fraud professionals from around the world at the 25th Annual ACFE Global Fraud Conference in San Antonio, June 15-20, 2014. Find session topics, networking details and more at Don’t forget, last year’s conference sold out; register early by April 1 so you don’t miss your chance to attend.