ACFE News

Dr. Joseph T. Wells, CFE, CPA, named among ‘Most Influential People in Security’



ACFE founder and Chairman Dr. Joseph T. Wells, CFE, CPA, is among professionals named this year’s Most Influential People in Security by Security magazine.

“What becomes clear is that the demographics of crime have been changing,” Dr. Wells says in the Security article. “As a society, we are less violent than in the past but more dishonest. In short, while murder is down, scams are at an all-time high,” he says. “It is imperative that security and law enforcement professionals respond by educating themselves on how to address this growing threat.”

After graduating with honors from the University of Oklahoma, Dr. Wells spent two years on the audit staff of Coopers and Lybrand (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers) before his appointment as special agent of the FBI, where he spent 10 years investigating thousands of fraud cases ranging from nickel-and-dime con artists to former U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell for his role in the Watergate case.

In 1982, Dr. Wells left the government to form Wells & Associates — a firm of criminologists specializing in fraud detection and deterrence. In 1988, Dr. Wells founded the ACFE, and since then he has lectured to tens of thousands of business professionals, written 23 books, and authored frequent articles and research projects. He’s served as a professor of fraud examination in the Graduate Business School at the University of Texas at Austin, which earned him recognition from the American Accounting Association.

Dr. Wells has served on various senior committees of the American Institute of CPAs, and he’s a member of the AICPA’s Business and Industry Hall of Fame. He was named to the Accounting Today annual list of the “Top 100 Most Influential People” in accounting nine times. In 2010, he was honored as a Doctor of Commercial Science from York College of the City University of New York.

“Other than the 36-year marriage to the love of my life, I’m proudest of my involvement in the anti-fraud community,” Dr. Wells says in the Security article. “It spans four decades and led to the formation of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.”





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