From the President

Reflecting on 35 years of ACFE Global Fraud Conferences

I’d been working for the ACFE for more than two years before I attended my first ACFE Global Fraud Conference. My first year — 1997 — the conference was held in Boston, Massachusetts. We had two educational tracks and a record crowd of 500 attendees. It was also the first time we had exhibitors. I think we had a total of five, including us. I’d never seen so many ACFE members together at one time. It was a little overwhelming being relatively new, but I had a great time and made friends I still have to this day. Fast forward to 2024, and our 35th ACFE Global Fraud Conference is now just weeks away, June 23-28, in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s hard to believe how much our global conference has grown over the years.

The ACFE held its first conference in 1989. Since then, it’s truly become our premier event. While all our events are good, the ACFE Global Fraud Conference is our greatest, and putting it on is an all-hands-on-deck occasion at the ACFE. Every staff member is involved in some way, and we all have the same goal — to make this the best event anywhere. This year, we’re expecting more than 5,000 attendees both in person and online. Instead of two educational tracks, you’ll have more than 90 educational sessions to choose from. With all those choices, I’m sure you’ll find something you’re interested in. In fact, you’ll probably find more than one. If that’s the case, I have big news for you. Since most of the live sessions are being broadcast to the virtual audience, we record them. Whether you attend in person or virtually, you’ll have access to all the recorded sessions after the conference, and you’ll be able to catch up on the ones you missed.

Over the years, we’ve had an incredible roster of keynote speakers. Actors Cliff Robertson and Richard Dreyfuss, Academy Award-winning director Bryan Fogel, and Wirecard whistleblower Pav Gill are just a few of the noteworthy speakers who’ve addressed our audiences. Our featured speakers in 2024 continue this impressive trend. Damian Williams, the first Black U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, is renowned for prosecuting financial crimes, public corruption and terrorism cases within one of the U.S.’s most influential federal districts. He’s overseen many high-profile cases, including that of Sam Bankman-Fried, ex-CEO of FTX, who was convicted in 2023 on seven counts of fraud. Williams will receive the ACFE’s highest honor, the Cressey Award.

Jonna Mendez is known for her distinguished career as a former chief of disguise in the CIA. Renowned for her expertise in espionage and covert operations, Mendez played a pivotal role in developing innovative disguises and tactics to protect intelligence officers during her tenure at the CIA. She’ll share her investigation tips with us.

And I’m most excited about introducing Jennifer Griffith, CFE, and Sarah Carver, CFE, in Las Vegas. They’re receiving our Sentinel Award for their work exposing a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme at the U.S. Social Security Administration. Their story of bravery and tenacity against the retaliation they faced on the job for blowing the whistle is truly inspiring.

We’ll also hear from Matt Friedman, CEO of the Mekong Club. Friedman, who worked for USAID as a public health official, has devoted his career to combating human trafficking in Asia. And no fraud conference would be complete without digging into a scheme with a convicted fraudster. Brent Cassity will discuss how he went from being the successful CEO of a $125 million funeral services company to a federal prisoner.

As you can probably tell, I’m excited about this event. If you attend in person, please stop me, and say hello. But if you can’t attend in person, I hope to see you online. I know you’ll have a great time.

John D. Gill, J.D., CFE, is president of the ACFE. Contact him at