The Case of the Missing Private Banker: When Bank Fraud Takes a Dark Turn

In 1998, I was only two years into my post-FBI career when I was part of a team dispatched to BankBoston’s private banking office headquartered in New York. It was not immediately apparent that a crime had been committed. An audit had revealed some irregularities in connection with some private banking accounts. We were sittingContinue reading “The Case of the Missing Private Banker: When Bank Fraud Takes a Dark Turn”

Cross Border Investigations and Ethical Culture

In organizations with a strong ethical culture, cross border investigations tend to go easier than in dysfunctional organizations. Whether your organization is amongst the World’s most ethical or riddled with dysfunction, cross-border investigations are challenging either way.  Global organizations are a microcosm of the countries and cultures in which they operate, and understanding customs, language,Continue reading “Cross Border Investigations and Ethical Culture”

Banking Superheroes: A Look Inside the Financial Investigations Unit

Financial Investigations Units are the unsung heroes inside banks and brokerages.  They protect institutions and their customers from the things that go bump in the night.  Most financial services companies above a certain size have one or more financial investigations units (FIUs) to investigate the various threats against the institution or its customers. Missions varyContinue reading “Banking Superheroes: A Look Inside the Financial Investigations Unit”

Beware of the Boiler Room: Pump & Dump Schemes Explained

The term pump and dump is not a widely known term outside of securities enforcement, but some of the names are more familiar. Stratton Oakmont and Jordan Belfort of The Wolf of Wall Street fame, Benjamin Conde and Power Traders, Rooney Pace, AR Baron and the granddaddy of them all, Bob Brennan and First JerseyContinue reading “Beware of the Boiler Room: Pump & Dump Schemes Explained”

Corruption at the United Nations? Of Course There is.

The United Nations is a unique organization made up of 193 member nations which is a combination of wealthy donor countries and impoverished beneficiary countries. The UN obtains its financial backing from donor countries and funds various initiatives and projects to alleviate suffering from terrorism and genocide and improve the quality of life in theContinue reading “Corruption at the United Nations? Of Course There is.”

Investigating the Investigators

In the forensic accounting world, there’s a little-known area commonly referred to as “shadow investigations”.  A shadow investigation is when accounting firms oversee internal investigations being performed by outside counsel and their forensic investigations counterparts.  The primary objective is to ensure that the investigative scope is likely to provide sufficient information for the audit partnerContinue reading “Investigating the Investigators”

Is the Secrecy of the Fine Art World a Relic of the Past?

On July 27, 2020, the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released a report entitled The Art Industry and US Policies that Undermine Sanctions. This report was the result of a two-year investigation into the art industry and how billions of dollars, much of it of unknown origins was used to purchase fine art. TheContinue reading “Is the Secrecy of the Fine Art World a Relic of the Past?”

When the Crisis is Unfolding – Tap the Brakes

The workforce that emerges from the combination of stay at home orders and the financial crisis will undoubtedly be very different than ever before. Each of us is dealing with unprecedented levels of stress, anxiety and uncertainty. External stressors can cause people in positions of trust to suspend good judgment and make some truly terribleContinue reading “When the Crisis is Unfolding – Tap the Brakes”

How to Deal with Increasingly Complex Sanctions Compliance

Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions regulations and the and other regulatory regimes that impose restrictions on international trade have always been important tools to protect US foreign policy and national security interests. The use of sanctions has aggressively expanded in recent years, and the continuing inclusion of organizations and individuals’ names on OFACContinue reading “How to Deal with Increasingly Complex Sanctions Compliance”

Deconstructing the Minds of White-Collar Criminals

Psychology plays a significant role in investigations. Behavioral science profiling has proven to be invaluable to law enforcement and their ability to bring serial killers, terrorists and other violent offenders to justice.  And yet the use of the psychological techniques in the study of white-collar criminals has not garnered nearly the same amount of attentionContinue reading “Deconstructing the Minds of White-Collar Criminals”