Nigerian Scammers 1, County Treasurer 0

BY JOSEPH T. WELLS

THE WORLD'S DUMBEST FRAUDSTERS

Many Americans have received an e-mail or letter from Nigeria, claiming that the recipient can receive huge funds from an “over-invoiced” government contract or a wealthy individual who died without a will. In actuality, these are advance fee swindles where the victim must pay phony charges for the nonexistent money.

Thomas Katona, the longtime treasurer of Alcona County, Mich., was charged in January with nine counts of embezzlement by a public official after allegedly wiring more than $1.2 million in county funds to Nigerian con artists in August and September. It represented more than a quarter of the county’s entire annual budget.

—Joseph T. Wells, CPA, CFE, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners

FEATURE

Tackling TCJA changes this tax season

Return preparers must be ready for how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has modified many common features of individual and business returns.

PODCAST

Why CPAs can’t wait on automation tools

What do accounting firms waiting on others to develop AI, automation, and data analytics tools have in common with a baseball fan sitting in a stadium filling with water at an exponential rate? The answer could determine your firm’s fate.