From the President



In my previous column, I questioned the appropriateness of punishing white-collar criminals with prison time. Of course, fraudsters need to be penalized, but I'm not sure time in jail -- a very expensive proposition for taxpayers -- is the best method.

When we first began publicizing the 20th Annual ACFE Fraud Conference & Exhibition, we didn't know how many would attend. We've held annual conferences during lean times, but nothing like this. However, we were gratified that the conference actually broke attendance records as anti-fraud practitioners sought training they couldn't find anywhere else. As I mention in the article on the conference by Dick Carozza, the high numbers during a deep recession reflect the strength of our industry and our members' dedication and commitment to excellence. I was especially pleased to toast our 20-year members and our newest generation of diversified members at the conference.

"Corporate conspiracy theorists, whistle-blowers and suspicious financial minds long have struggled to get an audience for accusations of business fraud," wrote reporter Gregory Zuckerman in an article on the annual conference, "For Group of Skeptics, the Truth is Out There" in the August 8 issue of The Wall Street Journal. "But on the heels of the Bernard Madoff scandal and a host of smaller Ponzi schemes and misdeeds, these skeptics are enjoying newfound appreciation," wrote Zuckerman, who attended the conference. We appreciate the extra attention. However, when the spotlight moves to another hot topic, all of us will still be fighting fraud and proudly disseminating time-honored fraud examination principles.

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