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How to Use a General Ledger to Find (and Stop) Fraud

Spotting Internal Fraud Schemes To identify whether an organization is vulnerable or has been a victim of fraudulent behavior, it is critical to spot common warning signs of internal fraud schemes. The first step is knowing where to look. The company’s general ledger (GL) is a good place to start. It is a book that can tell stories of fraud, manipulation, and betrayal. Unfortunately, few know how to read th ...

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Risk and Fraud

in the Cryptocurrency Economy Although cryptocurrency and blockchain technology create an environment that can help combat fraud within their systems, their introduction into the global economy has opened numerous doors for nefarious activity. This article provides an overview of what is cryptocurrency, blockchain technology, and the rise of threats to digital assets. Fraud used to be much simpler for the f ...

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Hidden Income and Assets

A Forensic Accountant’s Process The purpose of this article is to explain how forensic accountants look at the big picture, both financially and by understanding past behaviors, to uncover items that may help you or your client. The author shares that some of his biggest “wins” in fraud investigations started with broad allegations; however, the techniques used to identify and quantify these allegations wer ...

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Private Equity Investment in the Healthcare Industry

Private Equity’s Fast and Furious Entry into Healthcare (Part III of III) The third of this three-part series examines why private equity and venture capital firms are targeting the healthcare industry and the issues that they encounter managing their healthcare portfolio. Private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) firms are attracted by the potential for growth that exists in the healthcare industry; how ...

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Financial Elder Fraud Reports Quadruple; Amount Reaches $1.7 Billion

The number of reports of financial fraud against older adults has quadrupled since 2013, with 63,500 filed reports describing more than $1.7 billion in actual losses or attempted thefts in 2017, according to a report released by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. To read the full article in McKnight’s Senior Living, click: Financial Elder Fraud Reports Quadruple; Amount Reaches $1.7 Billion. ...

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Advisor Gets Prison for $4.7M Fraud of NFL Star

When an NFL-athlete client heard about the alleged fraud of star quarterback Vince Young in 2012, former advisor Kenneth Ray Cleveland used it to his advantage.  “Saw that, but it is like I said this morning in my text message, you get the credit for your financial success,” Cleveland wrote in a 2012 e-mail to former Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Cory Redding.  “Dare I say Vince Young is every bit as ...

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Lessons to Learn from SEC Accounting and Auditing Enforcements

Since enacting the Securities Exchange Act in 1934, Congress has repeatedly expanded the arsenal of the SEC to protect investors through enforcement actions.  As a result, the SEC has steadily increased the number of enforcement actions.  The author's analysis of 1,563 accounting and auditing enforcement cases from 2008 to 2014 shows the most frequent securities law violations adjudicated by the SEC, the pe ...

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This Time-Saving Trick Gets Advisors Fired. Don’t do it.

I have a number of elderly clients.  It’s difficult for them to come in and sign documents, and if I overnight it to them, they often come back signed in the wrong place or otherwise incorrectly filled out.  To make life easier for my clients I’ve had them sign blank forms, and then I’ll fill them in as needed.  I’ve never used those forms improperly, but I’ve heard that if my firm finds out I can be in big ...

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Advisor Gets Prison Time After Pleading Guilty to Bilking Client for $911K

A financial planner who admitted to defrauding his client out of nearly $1 million through a signature-forging scheme received a prison sentence of four-and-a-half years.  William P. Carlson Jr. pleaded guilty to mail fraud in the U.S. District Court in Chicago and agreed to pay restitution of $911,000 in connection with the five-year scam. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: Advisor Gets ...

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The Application of Guideline Publicly Traded Company Risk Adjustment

Quantifying the Risk Adjustment Depending on the valuation assignment facts and circumstances, the valuation analyst (analyst) may encounter a unique valuation problem: a problem that is well outside the ordinary scope of typical valuation issues. Unique problems provide the analyst an opportunity to develop thought leadership solutions in a manner that (1) provides value to the client and (2) assists the r ...

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Assessing the Risk of Fraud in Your Organization

Don’t be a Victim of Fraud Fraud can affect virtually any organization and fraud costs can be far more than just monetary losses. The author discusses the recent Wells Fargo fraud investigation and shares her views regarding what makes for an effective risk identification program. The effects of fraud can go beyond simple dollar losses and include harm to the organization’s reputation, employee morale, lega ...

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Patent and Trademark Infringement Damages Calculations, Appraisal Actions and Denial of Suit Seeking a Purchase Price Adjustment

Case Law Four cases are presented in this article that provide valuation, litigation support professionals, and M&A advisors insight regarding how courts are addressing damages claims, challenges to experts, appraisal action challenges, and claims of fraud and breach of contract in connection with M&A transactions. Although the cases are from Delaware and California, they provide insight for readers ...

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What’s Your Fraud IQ?

How well do you understand the foundational principles of an effective fraud risk management program?  Take this quiz and find out. To read the full article in Journal of Accountancy, click: What’s Your Fraud IQ? ...

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Protect Yourself from Anti-Kickback Penalties

What Physicians Don’t Know About Their Agreements Could Hurt Them Nearly 45 years after the enactment of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, it is still not uncommon to hear of physicians facing bribery allegations, large settlement amounts, and even jail time for breaking the statute’s anti-fraud measures. While evolving case law has certainly added to the complexities and prevalence of the statute’s enforc ...

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Six Ways to Fraud-Proof your Retirement Savings

Fraudsters target people of all ages, but older adults with retirement savings are particularly lucrative targets.  And the consequences of fraud and exploitation can have a devastating impact on older adults who depend on their retirement savings after they leave the workforce.  Steve Vernon provides some very helpful tips towards preventing this despicable crime. To read the full article in CBS Money Watc ...

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Using Excel and Benford’s Law to Detect Fraud

Learn the formulas, functions, and techniques that enable efficient Benford analysis of data sets.  J. Carlton Collins, Journal of Accountancy contributing editor, looks into this issue and provides some very useful tips and insights. To read the full article in JofA, click: Using Excel and Benford’s Law to Detect Fraud. ...

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Common Fraud Red Flags

“I Should Have Known!” When you hear the news that someone was just arrested for committing fraud at their work, it is usually accompanied by fellow employees or managers saying one of two things. Either, “I never thought they were capable of stealing” or “I should have seen it coming.” Why do employers say that they “should have known” and how exactly is it that they should have known? In my experience, th ...

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Interviewing Skills and Techniques

Effective Interview Planning in a Fraud Investigation This article is a republication of Chapter 10 of The Corporate Fraud: The Executive’s Survival Guide, authored by Ray Dunkle of Red Flag Reporting. This article features the chapter written by James I. Marasco, CPA, CIA, CFE. In this chapter, Mr. Marasco addresses the proper approach for conducting interviews. This includes what type of questions to ask, ...

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Financial Abuse of the Elderly: Sometimes Unnoticed, Always Predatory

Financial Abuse of Seniors Could Grow as the Population Ages As more people enter their golden years, they become increasingly susceptible to financial fraud and financial elder abuse, especially if their mental faculties start to decline.  This article looks at the case of an 86 year old Seattle widow bilked out of much of her savings and how easily it can happen. To find out more about The New York Times ...

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