Nestled in the Mojave Desert is the Entertainment Capital of the World, but from June 12 toJune 17, 2016, it was Fraud-Fighter central!
Over 3,000 anti-fraud professionals from all over the world converged in Las Vegas, for the 27th Annual ACFE Global Fraud Conference. It was here where attendees from over 60 countries heard and learned from a very diverse and fabulous group of fraud-fighters. On Sunday of the conference, JoAnn McEwen, Donna Foresti, and Frank Monteiro, proudly represented the R.I. Chapter at the ACFE Chapter Leaders Meeting. Almost 80 chapter leaders from around the world shared insight, best practices, and lessons learned on strengthening ACFE local chapters. It was amazing learning that no matter what part of the globe ACFE chapters reside, they often face similar challenges to provide the best training and benefits to their local chapter members.
The main conference kicked-off on Monday, with the presentation of flags. Always a highlight and well- respected part of the conference, bagpipers led a procession of flags from the numerous countries represented at the conference. General sessions were held throughout the conference and included Academy Award winning actor, Richard Dreyfuss, who spoke passionately about his political and social activism, his movie portrayal of fraudster Bernie Madoff, and his admiration for Harry Markopolos who alerted the SEC of Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme. (Some members may remember that Mr. Markopolos presented to the R.I. ACFE Chapter before the Ponzi news broke.) Other general sessions included, U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff; Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, David Barboza; and Halliburton whistleblower, Anthony Menendez. As is tradition, a convicted fraudster spoke at the last general session. Roomy Khan told the group that “As a girl who grew up in India and came to the U.S.-I went to some of the top schools, worked for some of the best corporations, caught all the breaks that I wanted…” She lived the big life, a $15-million-dollar home, diamonds, luxury cars, etc… However, she spoke painstakingly about the pitfalls and how her actions severely impacted her family’s (including her teenage daughter’s) life.
Beyond the general sessions, the ACFE Conference also offered 80 educational sessions. Attendees definitely left more informed and equipped to meet their anti-fraud challenges. Mark your calendars, next year’s ACFE Global Fraud Conference is set for June 18 to 23, 2017 in Nashville, TN. You won’t be disappointed!