I'm a CFE

Siddharth Kher, CFE

Global anti-fraud manager at Maersk

Siddharth Kher, CFE, first learned about the anti-fraud profession when he was working at Amazon. His curiosity piqued when he searched the internet for anti-fraud specialization courses and discovered the ACFE. Now a global anti-fraud manager at Maersk (an ACFE Corporate Alliance partner) Kher has learned more than his fair share of lessons from working in the field. “A top lesson I’ve learned is to never assume anything,” he says. “Also, look for evidence in places you wouldn’t normally expect it to be and be adaptable in any situation.”

I was born in a small town named Ujjain in India, but I was raised in Nashik, a town near Mumbai.

My entire childhood revolved around playing cricket and activities related to it since people are so passionate about the sport in India. Other than sport, food and travel were my other interests. Growing up I was interested in joining the hospitality industry because I wanted to work for a big hotel chain.

I attended university in Nashik and studied computer engineering, and then got my MBA in Mumbai. I have many fond memories, but my favorite is winning the cricket tournament in the fourth year — my last year of study — after not performing so well in the first three years.

I worked in India for Ocwen Financial before joining Maersk in 2017. Ocwen is a mortgage-servicing company based in the U.S. I was a senior fraud analyst responsible for conducting mortgage fraud investigations, analyzing fraud trends, performing fraud risk assessments and conducting anti-fraud training.

At Maersk I’m responsible for overseeing global fraud investigations related to misappropriation of assets, conflict-of-interest and kickback schemes, and financial misstatement at a group level. My responsibilities also include spreading anti-fraud awareness, fraud risk assessment knowledge, and driving and implementing the anti-fraud policy globally.

I’ve worked on numerous cases over the years, but one I remember most involved an operations manager who was colluding with a vendor. The vendor was billing the company for fictitious material and services, and the scheme went undetected for around 10 years. We were alerted to the collusion by a tip from a whistleblower who was working on behalf of the operations manager while the manager was on vacation. We reviewed delivery notes and parts invoices, and determined they appeared to be fake.

Generally, a truck driver who delivered the goods also would deliver the notes — these were always folded in a particular way. The fake invoices weren’t folded and appeared to have been hand-carried to the office. We also noticed that the timeline from order placement, delivery of goods, reception of the delivery note, reception of the invoice and material booking was, in some cases, not plausible.

Also, on a genuine invoice, delivery notes were often invoiced together. The fake invoices always contained a single delivery note. We also noticed a huge gap when we compared actual consumption and inventory records.

I would tell others starting out in the field to never let complacency settle into your work and to always trust your instincts and intuition. Be a solution provider — don’t be a problem yourself.

When I discovered that the CFE credential is the world’s most-trusted and valuable credential, that it differentiates you from the crowd and that I could develop an expertise in the anti-fraud field, it didn’t take much time to decide that I wanted to become a CFE. It gives anti-fraud professionals a badge of trust and differentiates our skills from the crowd.

The ACFE has always been a trusted partner when it comes to helping organizations prevent and detect fraud. The Corporate Alliance membership takes things a step further by giving my organization access to material and facts and figures, and it provides exclusive resources that aren’t necessarily available for non-alliance members. It has also provided special networking opportunities and knowledge exchange during global events like the ACFE Global Fraud Conference.

I would tell others starting out in the field to never let complacency settle into your work and to always trust your instincts and intuition. Be a solution provider — don’t be a problem yourself.

When I’m not working I enjoy traveling, cricket and music (Bollywood and Indian classical). I’ve visited many countries, but New Zealand still remains my favorite for its natural beauty, variety and the memories I made there with two friends — we still discuss it at least once a week.

Emily Primeaux, CFE, is associate editor of Fraud Magazine. Contact her at eprimeaux@ACFE.com.