ACFE Awards First Cliff Robertson Sentinel Award to Namesake

The respected actor is honored for standing up to the duplicitous Hollywood establishment and lends his name to an award that will honor other whistle-blowers "For Choosing Truth Over Self."

Whistle-blowers are not revered in our society. According to Joseph T. Wells, CFE, CPA, Chairman and founder of the ACFE, they often are labeled as bigmouths, busybodies, snitches, tattlers, and troublemakers. "And as CFEs, we wonder why employees don't come forward and tell us of the frauds they know about," he said shortly before he presented the ACFE's first Cliff Robertson Sentinel Award to its namesake at the 14th Annual Fraud Conference & Exhibition, Aug. 3-8.

"Cliff Robertson didn't come forward to get rich; he was already rich," Wells said. "And he certainly didn't tell the truth about (movie mogul) David Begelman to become famous; Cliff was already famous. He did the right thing for one and only one reason: because it was the right thing."

Wells said that Robertson is one of many brave persons to come forward. "If we are ever to turn the corner on fraud," Wells said, "we must have the help of these people society has tarred forever with being 'whistle-blowers.' And we certainly need to call these heroes by a different name. They are actually corporate sentinels - our front line of defense against wrongdoing. We must remember their heroic sacrifices."

The ACFE and Robertson have established the Sentinel Award to recognize annually the selfless act of coming forward for the sole purpose of righting a wrong. The award carries the inscription, "For Choosing Truth Over Self." ACFE members will be able to nominate future candidates for the Sentinel Award.

And for the second year, the ACFE presented its Outstanding Achievement Awards to members and chapters at the conference. The recipients all share the common criteria of 1) being an Association member or chapter in good standing; 2) contributing significantly to the prevention, detection, or investigation of fraud; and 3) contributing significantly to the discipline of fraud examination.

Following are the recipients: Chapter of the Year, Toronto Chapter; Certified Fraud Examiner of the Year, Robert DiPasquale, CFE, CPA; Associate Member of the Year, Jon McDowall; The Hubbard Award, Craig L. Greene, CFE, CPA; Newsletter of the Year, Vancouver Chapter; Outstanding Achievement in Anti-Fraud Education, W. Steve Albrecht, CFE, CPA, CIA; Outstanding Achievement in Commerce, Richard Lanza, CPA; Outstanding Achievement in Government, John Fisher Weber, CFE, CPP; Outstanding Achievement in Law Enforcement, Tyler A. Smith, CFE; Outstanding Achievement in Outreach/Community Service, Robert McCloud, CFE; and Outstanding International Member, Alfredo Ruben Popritken, CFE, CPA.

Joseph R. Dervaes, CFE, ACFE Fellow, CIA, after receiving the ACFE's Donald R. Cressey Award, said he preferred "to be known as a fraud educator" and he was destined to "educate and train other professionals about my life experiences in the fascinating and ever-changing world of fraud. ... Fraud education has become an imperative for me. It should be for you too. It's one thing to know about fraud concepts for yourself. But I've found that this just isn't good enough. To be truly satisfied, we must share what we know with others so that they don't have to duplicate our life experiences. ... If each one of us builds on the firm foundation of others, think what an enormous contribution we could make, collectively, in the fight against fraud."

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