Over the last couple of years, we learned of individuals taking advantage of broken systems, including the subprime mortgage mess, Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme, and other examples of fraud and corruption. Northeastern University and its alums play an integral role in detecting and prosecuting financial malfeasance. Michael Brodsky (BSBA ‘93) recently published an article “Fighting Fraud with Both Fists” in the January 2011 edition of The CPA Journal. In the article, he cautions executives who are charged with governance of organizations that sometimes it is not just the “proverbial snake in the grass” that is a worry, but rather systematic issues that are “painfully obvious once exposed.” He and co-author, Adam Weisman, a partner with Deloitte Financial Advisory Services, LLP, strongly recommend antifraud programs and controls to specifically combat fraud. By understanding the fraud risk factors and potential schemes, they believe that executives have a better chance of uncovering the issues before they become organizational debacles. Michael Brodsky co-wrote another article on fraud, this one for September 2010 issue of The Hedge Fund Journal. That article, entitled "How Diligent is Your Due Diligence?" can be downloaded here. Professor Michael Cottrill developed a course, “Fraud: the Darker Side of Business in the late 90s.” The objective of the course is to understand the types of things that people do, what motivates them to commit these crimes, and how to stop fraud. He lays out the theory of fraud and corruption for students and brings in a series of speakers to discuss actual cases. Most people think it can’t happen to them, but it can if you are not careful and take preventative steps. Another alum of Northeastern, James Carey (BSBA ‘92), started his own multiservice forensic accounting firm here in Boston. He has grown his practice substantially over the last decade and Carey and Co. is a popular co-op destination for Northeastern accounting students. Carey and Co. handles fraud investigation, develops fraud prevention programs, and provides assistance in various law suits. Brodsky is also very active providing these same services on behalf of Deloitte Financial Advisory Services, LLP. Professor Cottrill’s class runs this upcoming Fall 2011 semester and is already full. “Fraud is such an interesting topic to teach because it can happen at the highest and lowest levels of any organization,” Cottrill comments.
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