ACFE News

Six candidates selected for ACFE Board of Regents’ ballot



Six candidates have been selected to compete for two positions on the 2021-2022 Board of Regents. The board sets standards to promote professionalism and to ensure the reputation of the CFE credential.

“So many members have responded to our invitation to apply for the Board of Regents,” said Bruce Dorris, J.D., CFE, CPA, president and CEO of the ACFE and chairman of the ACFE Nominations Committee. “Please continue to support your colleagues and the profession by voting your choices for our new Regents.”

Beginning Nov. 1 and ending Nov. 30, members will be able to vote online at ACFE.com/BORvoting for their selections to replace retiring Board of Regents members, Bethmara Kessler, CFE, and Eric Feldman, CFE. The newly elected Regents will be installed in February 2021 and will each serve two-year terms.

Stella Cosmas, CFE

Principal instructor

Higher Learning Institute for Tax Administration

Tanzania

As the principal instructor at the Higher Learning Institute for Tax Administration in Tanzania, Stella Cosmas, CFE, teaches tax investigation techniques; and anti-corruption, ethics, management and governance subjects to undergraduate and post-graduate students, and to government employees through in-service courses.

She’s worked in the Tanzanian government for more than 38 years, including 13 years as the director of fraud investigation, anti-corruption and corporate security in the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA). Through proactive and reactive investigations, TRA has recovered millions of evaded government revenues and strengthened internal controls.

Cosmas has also championed the formulation, sensitization and implementation of TRA governance policies, including its code of ethics, anti-corruption policy and strategy, and whistle blowing policy.

She’s presented papers at international forums, including the African Union Integrity Committee, Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators Annual Technical Committee on Governance, East Africa Revenue Authorities Integrity Committee and World Customs Organization Integrity Committee. Cosmas has participated in training inside and outside Tanzania on fraud investigation techniques, detection, prevention and deterrence.

Cosmas holds an MBA and a bachelor’s degree of laws. She’s been an Advocate of the High Court – Tanzania since 2003. Cosmas is the president of the ACFE Tanzania Chapter.

David L. Cotton, CFE, CPA, CGFM

Founder and chairman

Cotton & Company LLP

Alexan­dria, Virginia

David L. Cotton, CFE, CPA, CGFM, chaired the Fraud Risk Management Task Force, sponsored by the ACFE and COSO, and was a principal author of the ACFE/COSO Fraud Risk Management Guide. He served on the ACFE/IIA/AICPA Anti-Fraud Programs and Controls Task Force and co-authored Managing the Business Risk of Fraud: A Practical Guide.

Cotton served on the AICPA Anti-Fraud Task Force and co-authored Management Override: The Achilles Heel of Fraud Prevention. He served on the Advisory Council on Government Auditing Standards, advising the U.S. comptroller general on promulgation of Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards.

He’s testified as an expert in accounting, auditing and fraud issues before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and other administrative and judicial bodies. Cotton has taught fraud examination and forensic accounting in the George Washington University Master of Accountancy Program.

Cotton was the recipient of ACFE 2018 Certified Fraud Examiner of the Year Award.

He received a Bachelor of Science in Me­chanical Engineering and an MBA in Management Science and Labor Rela­tions from Lehigh University. Cotton pursued studies in accounting and auditing at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

Sudhir G. Gidwani, CFE, FCA

Chief investigator at the Independent Commission Against Corruption, Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region, PRC

The ACFE presented Sudhir G. Gidwani, CFE, FCA, with the CFE of the Year award in June 2020. Gidwani, a Chartered Accountant based in Hong Kong, has been employed for more than 34 years by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), a law enforcement agency that investigates allegations of corruption and other related offenses, including fraud.

As the chief investigator of the ICAC Proceeds of Crime Section, he’s tasked with restraining and confiscating ill-gotten assets. Gidwani has been involved in multiple high-profile, white-collar cases that led to successful prosecutions of senior officials from government and major corporations.

He began his career in 1984 with Ernst & Whinney, CPA, where he was part of a team that investigated executives’ financial impropriety that culminated in the collapse of a major Hong Kong bank. Gidwani says this case developed his interest in fraud examination and joining the ICAC in 1986.

On five separate occasions, the ICAC has awarded him Directorate Commendations, which included successfully confiscating crime proceeds of HK$119 million (US$15.25 million) from two defendants convicted of corruption and fraud. He’s also received a U.S. Secret Service Certificate of Appreciation in recognition for his contributions to law enforcement.

Alexandra Sagaro, MSS, CFE, FCLS

Director of Enterprise Risk Management Program

Raymond James Financial

St. Petersburg, Florida

Under the leadership of Alexandra Sagaro, MSS, CFE, FCLS, the Raymond James Financial Enterprise Fraud Risk Management Program works on developing technology and resources to mitigate risk while investigating complaints of fraud and meeting regulatory filing requirements for suspicious activity.

For 17½ years, Sagaro was a member of the Tallahassee (Florida) Police Department, Florida Department of Insurance Fraud and Florida Department of Law Enforcement. She worked on state and federal task forces for violent crime investigations, money laundering, insurance fraud and public corruption. She held management and leadership positions, including the Region 4 coordinator for emergency management responsiveness, high-liability trainer and firearms instructor.

Sagaro transitioned to the private sector where she worked for 4½ years in the insurance industry consulting on projects for sinkhole fraud and the sinkhole managed repair program — a major problem in Florida.     

At Raymond James Financial, where she’s worked since 2017, she also managed teams in the Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crimes Management Department, focusing on mitigating money laundering, terrorist financing and fraudulent activity through transactional analysis within the Financial Intelligence Unit and the Fraud Investigations Team.

Sagaro earned her master’s degree in social sciences, executive management, from

Florida State University in 2002.

Sharon Li Xu, CFE, CIA

Group vice president of internal audit

Techtronic Industries

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Sharon Li Xu, CFE, CIA, graduated from Tianjin University in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. She earned her international MBA from the University of South Carolina in 2001.

She’s gained a wide range of experiences in her 27 years of working in China, Singapore and the U.S. with several large global companies. Her experience not only spans industries from publishing to consumer goods and from logistic companies to chemical manufacturing, but also across functions from production to journalism, customer service to administration and finance to global sourcing. She’s the global head of internal audit for Techtronic Industries (TTI), a US$8 billion world-class manufacturing leader of power tools and equipment. She’s been with TTI for more than 11 years.

“I’m passionate about fighting fraud and corruption,” Xu says. She’s conducted more than 200 investigations and has given trainings at local chapters, seminars and conferences, such as the 25th ACFE Annual Global Fraud Conference in 2014 and the 2016 IIA International Conference.

“My diversified experience in both academics and career exposed me to a wide spectrum of situations and vastly different environments that enabled me to gain in-depth business acumen and knowledge of human behavior,” she says.

“As ACFE’s research has demonstrated year after year, the loss due to fraud and corruption costs 5% of an organization’s annual revenue,” she says. “But the worst of it is the pollution to organizations and societies’ cultures caused by unethical behavior that should keep leaders awake at night. And that is what CFEs can help to fight against,” she says.

Hannibal “Mike” Ware, CFE

Inspector General

U.S. Small Business Administration

Washington, D.C.

Hannibal “Mike” Ware, CFE, was sworn in as inspector general at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) on May 24, 2018, following his confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

Ware is responsible for independent oversight of SBA’s programs and operations. As a result of SBA’s role in the nation’s pandemic response, Ware is providing oversight of more than a trillion dollars of lending authority aimed at stabilizing the nation’s economy and providing vital capital to the nation’s small businesses.

He’s a statutory member of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency’s (CIGIE) Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC). Ware chairs the PRAC Subcommittee on Audits and the CIGIE Audit Committee, and is a member of CIGIE’s executive council. 

Prior to his appointment as inspector general, Ware served as the deputy inspector general from April 2016 to January 2017, and the acting inspector general from January 2017. Ware has 30 years of experience within the OIG community with the first 26 years at the U.S. Department of Interior Office of Inspector General.

Ware is a native of the U.S. Virgin Islands. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of the Virgin Islands. He’s a graduate of the U.S. federal Senior Executive Service Career Development Program. Ware has received numerous awards throughout his career, including several from CIGIE as recognition for his significant work in the IG community.






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