One CFE's View

Becoming the Fraud Advisors We Were Meant To Be

By David Debenham, LLB, LLM, MBA, CFE, CMA, DIFA

Clients often don't understand the process, litigators lack the training, and accountants don't have the mandate. CFEs are poised to assume an even more responsible role in fighting fraud in the marketplace. 

The role of the traditional fraud investigator needs to morph into the best example of a Certified Fraud Examiner: devising bold deterrence and prevention programs and advising management at all levels on its litigation strategy. 

Fraud and all crimes of deceit are routinely front-page news as investors forfeit their life savings, employees lose their jobs and pensions, and regulators try to stem the tide. The headlines are shouting at us to step up to meet this challenge. Let's look at cases that illustrate my recommendations to broaden the profession and to take even more responsibility in fraud inquiries. 

I'm a commercial litigation lawyer and CFE. From my firsthand experience, I know that company lawyers need much more assistance from CFEs than they ask for; they need CFEs' advice from the beginning of engagements to trial verdicts. I became a forensic accountant and a Certified Fraud Examiner because I saw this great need. I've chosen the following cases - and have added my comments - to show the growing complexity of fraud analysis that constantly challenges investigators to upgrade and expand their professional skills.

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