Three Ring Circus

An Expose of a Corporate Commission Embezzlement

By David A. Schneider, CFE

 Case In Point 


This case history is excerpted and adapted from "Fraud Casebook: Lessons from the Bad Side of Business," edited by Joseph T. Wells, CFE, CPA, ©2007 Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, published by John Wiley & Sons Inc.  


Although fraudsters Alex Bedford, Van Nguyen, and Parviz Shah might have collectively acquired five college degrees at the baccalaureate level or higher, these 20-somethings still weren't clever enough to elude the experienced Special Investigative Unit (SIU) at Centerstone Health Systems, a leading health-care insurer in the United States. This trio, in varying roles, was involved in a scheme to embezzle funds from the company. Alex and Van were Centerstone Health employees, but Shah was an external co-conspirator. All three were close friends and enjoyed playing basketball, experiencing the night life, and discussing their aspirations of owning big homes and expensive cars in a ritzy suburb just north of Los Angeles. 



Alex, the ringleader, took pleasure in flaunting his muscular build and natural intelligence. He had a jovial personality and was admired by many of his peers, yet he didn't hesitate to let others know that he was in charge. He was the father of a young daughter. Even though he was no longer with his child's mother, the two proud parents jointly paid for her private school. Alex earned his bachelor's degree in business administration during the day and filled the swing shift at night. Soon after completing his degree, he began working toward an MBA with a concentration in finance at a pricey private university. 





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