33rd Annual Certified Fraud Examiners Global Conference – Mark Gardiner, CPA, CFE, Partner

This June, I spent a week in Nashville, Tennessee attending the Annual Certified Fraud Examiner Conference. I’ve attended the majority of these throughout the years, as it’s a great way to pick up continuing education hours, network, and listen to numerous speakers on a wide array of fraud topics. This year, there were over 3,000 attendees representing more than 60 countries at the conference.

Some of the interesting speakers I heard were Alex Gibney, director and producer of many documentary films such as Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, and most recently the documentary The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley. Gibney has won Academy Awards and numerous Emmys for his work. I also took a class on data breaches and vulnerability of the IT Departments in organizations, which included an actual example of an employee in the accounting department who was frustrated with his job and suddenly quits towards month-end. The next day, multiple users in their accounting department complained of slow servers and constant errors.

Another interesting session discussed the “job board” on the “dark web” looking to hire fraudsters. The “smash and grabs” that we all have either read about or seen on TV are actually hired to do this type of crime by people on the Internet. The “crime ring” that hires these individuals instructs them the type of merchandise they are willing to pay for. Many of the attendees at the conference work in the Federal Government, including the FBI and the National Security Agency, which creates interesting discussions around the lunch table. Our company has three other Certified Fraud Examiners, Matt Gardiner, Blake Miller and Chris Herman. Please reach out if you ever have any questions or concerns regarding fraud in your organization.