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Fraud

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1. Madoff account value must be determined at trial  

BY Charles J. Reichert, CPA
The IRS is denied summary judgment on an estate’s valuation of its account in an infamous Ponzi scheme.Whether an account managed by Madoff Investments or its claimed holdings are considered property included in a gross estate and whether a willing buyer or seller of the account could reasonably know or foresee before its collapse that the account was part of a Ponzi scheme are disputed material facts that should be determined at trial, the Tax Court held.

2. Lessons from an $8 million fraud  

BY Mark J. Nigrini, Ph.D. and Nathan J. Mueller
In hindsight, it seems obvious: Nathan J. Mueller’s pilfering of financial services giant ING should have never been allowed to start, much less last as long as it did. First, it was an accident that gave Mueller, an employee in ING’s reinsurance division, the authority to approve company checks of up to $250,000.

3. What’s your fraud IQ?  

BY Andi McNeal, CPA
At some point in nearly every CPA’s professional experience, he or she encounters a transaction or situation that stands out from the others—one that just doesn’t make sense. Many of these occurrences turn out to be erroneous or to have an unobvious, yet legitimate, reason behind them. But some have a more sinister explanation.

4. What's your fraud IQ?  

BY Andi McNeal, CPA
Whether discussing a specific transaction with a client or interviewing a potential suspect about his or her involvement in an alleged fraud scheme, CPAs need to be able to obtain and interpret information from other individuals. Additionally, the questions and answers provided in an interview offer important context for the other information gathered as part of any engagement and provide valuable clues about whether things might not be as they seem.

5. Biennial report details fraud’s impact worldwide   WebExclusive

BY Jeff Drew
Fraud continues to take huge bites from organizational coffers, but the implementation of antifraud controls can significantly reduce the damage done, a new report shows. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) on Tuesday released its biennial Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse. The more than 1,400 antifraud experts surveyed for the report were asked to estimate what percentage of annual revenues organizations lose to all types of fraud.

6. SEC issues warning about bitcoin investments   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
The SEC is urging investors to proceed with caution when evaluating potential investments related to bitcoin.Bitcoin-related investment opportunities may come with a heightened risk of fraud, the SEC warned in an investor alert issued Wednesday.In the alert, the SEC said the rise of bitcoin and other virtual and digital currencies creates new concerns for investors.

7. What's your fraud IQ?   CPEDirect

BY Catherine Lofland, CPA, and Andi McNeal, CPA
Fraud happens in companies of all sizes, in all industries, and in all countries. Given enough time, it will almost certainly happen in a company that does not enact proactive fraud prevention measures. Do you know what initiatives are most effective in deterring potential fraudsters? Are your clients among those who are left unguarded? How well-versed are you in protecting organizational resources from the hands of would-be fraudsters? Take this quiz and find out.1.

8. Report reveals breadth of criminal tax activities   WebExclusive

BY Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
From shady tax preparation businesses to identity theft gangs to corrupt IRS agents, the IRS Criminal Investigation division’s annual report reviewing its accomplishments in 2013 reveals the wide range of criminal tax activities it investigated in the past year. And, the report points out, despite a continued significant decline in staffing, the division maintained a conviction rate of more than 93%, which it noted “reflects the quality of ...[its] casework” (IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) Annual Business Report, p.

9. “Dirty Dozen” tax scam list now includes telephone scams   WebExclusive

BY Alistair M. Nevius, J.D.
Identity theft and telephone scams top this year’s list of the “Dirty Dozen” fraudulent tax schemes released by the IRS on Wednesday. The annual list contains various common scams that taxpayers may be subjected to at any time, but the IRS says many of them reach a peak during tax filing season.

10. Failure to detect theft and fraud: It's not just an audit issue  

BY Sarah Beckett Ference, CPA
Commonly referred to as the “expectation gap,” a disconnect sometimes exists between a CPA’s professional responsibility for detecting theft and fraud and the general public’s perception of a CPA’s duties. The AICPA Professional Standards for audit, review, and compilation services include a responsibility to inform the appropriate levels of management if any information or evidence comes to the CPA’s attention indicating a fraud may have occurred.
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