Accounting doesn’t sound like a sexy career choice. How about forensic accounting and getting to work with the FBI and Secret Service? Now that’s getting interesting. White-collar crime is typically committed by business or government professionals that engage in fraud, insider trader, embezzlement, or cybercrime. It can destroy companies, individuals, and families. What happens when a murder occurs during these cases?
Richard Brody is a professor and chair of the accounting department at the Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico. He is a certified fraud examiner, certified public accountant, and a forensic certified public accountant. He serves as an expert witness and has experience in both civil and criminal cases. He has worked with the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the New Mexico Attorney General’s office.
Rich shares many experiences working in white-collar and red-collar crime. We also discuss ways to help you be more knowledgeable because education is the only solution.
Show Notes: [01:14] - Rich shares the background on how he got started in white-collar crime. [03:14] - He is very proud that he has been able to go out and speak to so many people about white-collar crime. [03:57] - Trust no one until you can verify. Use the same standard for interacting online as you do in person. [05:02] - White-collar crime includes occupational fraud, embezzlement, and more on the business side and scam artist, identity theft, and romance fraud on the individual side. [05:59] - It’s not a small number of people that are doing this and it is a huge number of people that have been victimized. [06:11] - It is highly profitable and fairly low risk. [09:07] - Most people proceed by accepting it as an expensive lesson. [10:12] - Filing a police report is an easy thing for a business to do. [10:31] - In the area of identity theft, filing a police report will then give you the ability to get free services from the credit reporting agencies. [12:10] - One of Rich’s goals is educating people. It is all about prevention. [13:38] - Without trust, you don’t have fraud. [14:37] - White-collar crime is something that is considered to be a violation of trust, but it doesn’t involve any violence. [16:19] - A red-collar criminal is a person who commits a violent and brutal act on a person when they expect that this person can expose their criminal behavior. [19:01] - There are many cases where you have the sudden death of a crucial witness in a case. Just because it seems like a suicide, it might not be. [19:56] - Sometimes the violent act can actually be against yourself. [20:48] - Anytime you have a white-collar crime, the person who is involved in that crime is a potential suicide candidate based on the embarrassment. [22:41] - Now scammers are going on social media, collecting personal information, and using that to convince them the scam is a legitimate situation. [23:21] - What is even scarier about the red-collar area is that the victim doesn’t have to be someone who profited from the situation or is involved in any way. [24:53] - There is a misconception that white-collar criminals are not like violent criminals. [26:13] - Anybody can become a victim of white-collar crime. [26:28] - In the original case that motivated the term itself, the victim knew that something was going on. [27:43] - Many red-collar criminals are psychopaths. [28:06] - The fraud triangle has the three common elements of fraud. [30:01] - Red-collar criminals view killing someone as just as viable as a solution as any other solution. [30:51] - We have to deal with the white-collar aspect to prevent the red-collar aspect. [33:15] - Rich views this as a service to try to educate people. Education is the only solution to these problems.
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