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$1.5 million fraud at a telecommunications company

By Meric Bloch, J.D., CFE, CCEP-F

This article is excerpted from the "Bribery and Corruption Casebook: The View from Under the Table," edited by Laura Hymes, CFE, and Dr. Joseph T. Wells, CFE, CPA, published by John Wiley & Sons Inc. © 2012 Used with permission. Names of persons and organizations in this case have been changed.

Dan Jackson was living the good life: a well-paying job, beautiful wife, kids in private school, expensive clothes, Rolex watches. However, the façade hid a man who defrauded his company of $1.5 million. In part 1 of this two-parter, we learn Dan's background and his collusion with Jake, a sleazy external consultant.

There seemed to be no limit to where he would go in the company. He had recently been promoted to corporate vice president in the IT department at NyTell USA. NyTell paid him a good salary with an annual bonus. Dan just completed the company's Senior Leadership Training course, a two-week seminar in Lillehammer, Norway — where NyTell executives are groomed for advancement. The walls of Dan's offices were covered with photos of him with NyTell big shots. The credenza behind his desk was littered with knickknacks from his world travels and Lucite paperweights commemorating his big IT projects.

Dan had come a long way from Beaufort, South Carolina. The son of a career Marine officer, Dan spent his childhood moving from one military base to another. After his father retired from the Marines, the family settled in Beaufort when his father accepted a job teaching military history at a nearby college.

Major Jackson ran his family like a military commander. The kids were expected to obey orders without question. Resistance was futile. "When my father told us to do something, the only option was to salute and carry on," Dan was heard to say more than once. Although Major Jackson thought the application of military discipline built character in his children, it left Dan with a constant insecurity that he would never meet his father's standards.

Dan sought the major's approval, confident that someday he would earn it. But he never got the chance. During Dan's senior year at the University of Maryland, his father was killed in a car accident on a rain-slicked road. Dan would never make peace with his father.

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