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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All the Queen’s Horses, fraud in Dixon, Illinois

Netflix recently released a documentary called “All the Queen’s Horses.” It details the story of Rita Crundwell, the perpetrator of the largest case of municipal fraud in American history. As the City Comptroller and Treasurer for Dixon, Illinois, Rita Crundwell embezzled more than $53 million of public funds over a 20-year period. The stolen funds …

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FTC: How to avoid a Bitcoin blackmail scam

When I received the August 21 Consumer Alert from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) via email, I was amazed to find out that the FTC was forwarding instructions on, “How to avoid a Bitcoin blackmail scam.” Had the FTC had found a way to make us always behave in an appropriate manner? Or maybe they …

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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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Vacation rentals: another day, another scam

If you’re planning a vacation for Labor Day, a weekend getaway or even looking ahead to the holidays, make sure to keep your eyes open for a new scam centered around vacation rentals. If you’re anything like me, planning for a vacation tends to happen a little closer to the vacation date than you’d like. …

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Phishing vs spear phishing – don’t get scammed

You may believe that phishing emails are a thing of the past and that no one falls for them. However, emails remain the number one way for scammers to infect your computer with viruses or ransomware and they have been getting more complex with their schemes. Spear phishing Typically, phishing emails can be easily identified …

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Tax scams, know the telltale signs to keep your info safe

The IRS recently added tax tips to their website regarding scam attempts. Summertime is a high point for scammers because taxpayers are waiting to receive their refund or a response from the IRS about their return. Most scammers want you to give them personal information such as account details, social security numbers and passwords. Here …

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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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Understanding COSO: developing strong internal controls

It is important to note that there is NO way to fully prevent fraud. Collusion between employees will always be a risk in your organization but a strong internal control system will help minimize the damage and limit fraudulent opportunities. Understanding why employees commit fraud is vital in creating a successful prevention strategy. The fraud …

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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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