25th Annual ACFE Global Fraud Conference to be Dr. Wells’ last


ACFE News

MarApr-wells-at-podium

 Dr. Wells speaks at the 23rd Annual Global

Fraud Conference in Orlando.

After constructing an organization that created a profession, Dr. Joseph T. Wells, CFE, CPA, founder and Chairman of the ACFE, says that the 25th Annual ACFE Global Fraud Conference, June 15-20 in San Antonio, will be his last.

Dr. Wells, who will be turning 70 in June, has curtailed his travel in the last few years to focus more on writing, anti-fraud projects — such as the ACFE Foundation — and hobbies.

“It’s the right decision at the right time,” says Wells. “And it’s in the right place — Texas — where our association was born.” Dr. Wells says that the transition to a new team of leaders had been underway for several years. “Jim Ratley (president and CEO) has been running the day-to-day operations since 2006, while I’ve concentrated on more long-term issues. Behind Jim is Bruce Dorris (vice president and program director) who is next in line. The most important thing for our members is continuity and our plan has ensured that.” But Dr. Wells admits that he makes the announcement with mixed feelings. 

“Over the years, I’ve met thousands and thousands of our members in every corner of the world. They may miss seeing me at future conferences, but I doubt as much as I’ll miss seeing them,” he says. “I’m not going anywhere, and people know that my office is always open. Still, while I am in good health, it is important for me to pursue non-work related interests and spend more time with my small family. And that is what I’m going to do.”  

The early ACFE Annual Conferences usually attracted about 200 participants and featured a dozen breakout sessions and a handful of keynoters. Last year’s 24th Annual ACFE Global Fraud Conference, attended by more than 2,600, included more than 70 sessions in 12 tracks, five keynoters and pre- and post-conferences.

Dr. Wells has been an enduring presence at all of the conferences as he greets attendees, signs his latest book, wears his famous Hawaiian shirts and presents his fraud predictions. Since the ACFE’s inception in 1988, Dr. Wells has been the profession’s main proponent of fraud prevention, detection and examination as he built an international association of more than 70,000 members in more than 150 countries.
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