Phone scams remain on IRS’s Dirty Dozen List

I recently received a call from a lady identifying herself as an agent of the Internal Revenue Service. She said I owed a large sum of money to the IRS in back taxes and that if I did not pay up, I would find myself being prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and …

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The Fraud Triangle, still as relevant as ever

Several years ago, I wrote about the Fraud Triangle. A recent case I read about shows once again how relevant it is. In 1973, Donald Cressey published the results of his research on embezzlement in Other People’s Money: A Study in the Social Psychology of Embezzlement. Mr. Cressey’s hypothesis has become known to many as …

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What does forensic accounting mean anyway?

We hear the term forensic all the time, and it holds a special place in pop culture thanks to TV shows like the fictional CSI and the “real-life” Forensic Files. The news also inundates us with stories about legal proceedings involving forensic accountants, psychiatrists, pathologists, toxicologists and others. However, when pressed, most people don’t really …

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Small business fraud: not so small, twice as costly

This past April, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) released the 10th edition of its global study on occupational fraud, the Report to the Nations – 2018 Global Study on Occupational Fraud and Abuse (the “ACFE Report”). The ACFE Report summarizes statistics based on 2,690 cases that resulted in over $7 billion in damages. …

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Why CPAs who testify like QuickBooks

CPAs who perform litigation support and forensic accounting services are retained as expert witnesses to provide reports and to testify on their reports on such matters as: Determining income of mother or father from an owned business for child support or spousal maintenance purposes, Determining lost profits of a business in owner disputes, Determining the …

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Disaster relief fraud, don’t fall victim

My heart, as many others, goes out to the people of Houston and the surrounding cities and towns affected by Hurricane Harvey. I experienced the storm surge created by Hurricane Isabel in 2003. My home was within inches of flooding and my next door neighbor completely lost his home simply because the typography of his …

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Corporate culture and the occurrence of fraud

“Tone at the Top” is an often used term when talking about corporate fraud and how to prevent it. Essentially “tone at the top” refers to the ethical and cultural atmosphere created in the workplace by leadership. If an organization’s leadership displays integrity, the employees are inclined to follow their lead. If however, employees believe …

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Protecting against phishing scams this tax season

Betty opened up her email and scanned through her messages. One in particular stood out, from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), so she clicked on it and began to read. It appeared that there was an issue processing her refund, and the IRS needed some additional information from her. So, she clicked on the link …

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Unintended consequences of employee incentive programs

The recent revelation regarding aggressive sales practices at Wells Fargo shocked the financial community and highlights some of the unintended consequences of employee incentive programs. Employers normally have the best of intentions when they roll out an incentive program. The desired result is a win-win situation in which revenues increase and employees are rewarded for …

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Management responsibility for employee fraud

Should management be held responsible for employee fraud? If British Prime Minister David Cameron has his way, they will be. England is considering expanding its “failure to prevent” law which currently covers bribery and tax evasion. Serious consideration is being given to include a wider range of crimes committed by employees, including money laundering and …

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