2021 Financial Statement Fraud Seminar Series

Speakers present lessons to be learned from corporate fraud cases 
 

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Fraud Day is free and open to the public. Guests planning to attend the virtual seminar series must register by March 15 at: https://forms.gle/7th2JMRWqT3v7S6B9.

 

 

Experts in corporate fraud will share their unique perspectives and experience as part of the Financial Statement Fraud Seminar Series, hosted by the Center for Accounting Research and Education at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. 

Since 2013, CARE has hosted former HealthSouth CFO turned whistleblower, and convicted fraudster Weston Smith. Smith, who alerted federal investigators in 2003 to the massive accounting fraud perpetrated at health-care giant HealthSouth, is a frequent speaker on ethics and integrity in business. Smith describes the culture of the company that supported the fraud, the mechanics of how the unethical accounting was put into place, and how detection was avoided. While his talk focuses on the accountancy aspect of the scandal, Smith also has a message for broader audiences “to simply do the right thing” – a challenge to live and work responsibly. Smith was eventually sentenced to 27 months in prison for his role – one of the longest sentences ordered for any of the HealthSouth defendants.

In 2015, litigation expert Andrew Richmond, vice president of Cornerstone Research in Chicago, joined the presentations. Richmond has led independent forensic accounting investigations for boards, special committees and management and was directly involved in the HealthSouth case. Andy presents a provocative discussion on the role of forensic accountants in investigations, how fraudsters cook the books, and discusses several fraud case studies. Richmond has investigated high-profile fraud schemes including Bernie Madoff and Stanford Financial as well as HealthSouth.  

In 2016, we added global interrogation expert Christopher Norris to Fraud Day. A director at global interrogation training company Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates, Norris is experienced in loss prevention and investigation, and has conducted numerous investigations for both private companies and public agencies, and has questioned offenders worldwide. Chris presents an overview of the WZ Non-Confrontational Method of interview.  The method is designed to provide the fraud investigator a strategy to address integrity issues and those involved in fraud.  It reduces resistance from the suspect, encourages honesty without confrontation or presentation of any evidence developed through the investigation.  

CARE sponsors talks by practitioners as part of its effort to make connections between the teaching of Financial Statement Analysis and Valuation, ethics, and practice, which is one of the clearly stated goals established by the CARE advisory committee. In 2019, approximately 320 student, alumni and outside guests attended. Students from multiple classes offered at Mendoza attend Fraud Day because material covered is integral to their course. The speakers see this opportunity for more intimate conversation as a major enticement for coming to Notre Dame. The feedback from the students (as well as instructors from other classes) is extremely positive.   

2021 finds us rounding out the experience with FBI agent Chris Knight, Securities and Exchange Commission chief accountant Matt Jacques, and United States Department of Justice Attorney, Sean Berry, to offer a full understanding of the progression from the inception of the fraud, through incarceration, and beyond.

Matt Jacques currently serves as Chief Accountant of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. He has over two decades of experience as a public accountant, regulator, expert witness and forensic accountant. Mr. Jacques has led teams conducting complex forensic investigations in high-profile accounting, securities, anti-corruption and other financial matters. Prior to his time at the SEC, he worked as managing director at an international advisory firm and a forensic accountant at a Big Four accounting firm, where he was engaged by counsel to provide technical accounting expertise in investigations and litigation. Mr. Jacques is a certified public accountant and certified fraud examiner.

Sean R. Berry serves as the First Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa.  He has been a federal prosecutor in Iowa since 1999, where he has also served as Criminal Chief.  Prior to 1999, Berry served for ten years as a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles, California, where he was Chief of the Major Frauds Section.  Berry has extensive experience in prosecuting complex white collar crime cases involving bank fraud, securities fraud, insider-trading, and public corruption. Berry also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Iowa College of Law where he teaches Federal Criminal Practice and White Collar Crime.  Berry frequently serves as an instructor for the Department of Justice both in the United States and abroad.

Chris Knight entered on duty with the FBI Detroit Field Office in October 2004 after working two years at a regional public accounting firm. In October 2006, he transferred to the FBI Indianapolis Field Office’s White-Collar Crime squad where he is assigned as a forensic accountant. In this role, he is responsible for the review and analysis of financial evidence received in support of criminal and national security investigations. In addition to working at the FBI, Knight is an adjunct professor at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business in Bloomington and Indiana University-East where he teaches courses in fraud examination and forensic accounting.

The Financial Statement Fraud Seminar Series is free and open to the public. Guests planning to attend the virtual sessions must register by March 15 at: https://forms.gle/7th2JMRWqT3v7S6B9 to receive the links to the virtual meetings. 

This event is sponsored by the Center for Accounting Research and Education (CARE) and the Mendoza College of Business. Please direct all questions to Lorie Marsh, Program Manager, at lmarsh1@nd.edu.

CARE sponsors talks by practitioners as part of its effort to make connections between the teaching of Financial Statement Analysis and Valuation, ethics, and practice, which is one of the clearly stated goals established by the CARE advisory committee.

 

The full series dates and times follow:

March 17th,
8:30-9:50 am
Chris Norris, Wicklander-Zulawski

Christopher Norris, is a director at global interrogation training company Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates. Norris, an expert in loss prevention and investigation, and has conducted numerous investigations for both private companies and public agencies. He will present an overview of the WZ Non-Confrontational Method of interview, which is designed to provide the fraud investigator a strategy to address integrity issues and those involved in fraud.

March 29th
8:30-9:50 am

Matt Jacques, Securities and Exchange Commission

Matt Jacques is Chief Accountant in Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Jacques, who for six years served as a senior enforcement accountant in the SEC’s Boston Regional Office, rejoins the SEC enforcement staff from AlixPartners, where he has been a managing director since 2013.  He has led teams conducting complex forensic investigations in high-profile accounting, securities, anti-corruption and other financial matters.  He has nearly two decades of experience as a public accountant, regulator, expert witness and forensic accountant.  He is a certified public accountant and certified fraud examiner. Prior to working at the SEC from 2007 to 2013, Mr. Jacques was a forensic accountant at Ernst & Young, where he was engaged by counsel to provide accounting expertise in investigations and litigation.  He began his career in public accounting as an auditor at Arthur Andersen.

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April 5th
8:30-9:50 am

Andy Richmond, Cornerstone Research

Andy Richmond is a Senior Vice President at Cornerstone Research in Chicago and forensic accounting expert who has led independent forensic accounting investigations for boards, special committees and management.  Richmond investigated high-profile fraud schemes including Bernie Madoff, Stanford Financial, and HealthSouth. He will discuss the role of forensic accountants in investigations and how fraudsters cook the books, as well as several fraud case studies.    

April 12th
8:30-9:50 am

Sean Berry, US Department of Justice

Sean Berry is a prosecutor for the US Department of Justice. Mr. Berry has extensive experience investigating and prosecuting complex financial crimes. He teaches Federal Criminal Practice at the University of Iowa and trial advocacy at the National Advocacy Center, an arm of the US Department of Justice that provides training to Department prosecutors.

April 19th
8:30-9:30 am

Weston Smith, Whistleblower, Former HealthSouth CFO

Weston Smith, then CFO at health-care giant HealthSouth, alerted federal investigators in 2003 to the massive accounting fraud perpetrated at the company. Smith was eventually sentenced to 27 months in prison for his role – one of the longest sentences ordered for any of the HealthSouth defendants.

April 26th
8:30-9:50 am

L Christopher Knight, Federal Bureau of Investigation

Chris Knight entered on duty with the FBI Detroit Field Office in October 2004 after working two years at a regional public accounting firm. In October 2006, he transferred to the FBI Indianapolis Field Office’s White-Collar Crime squad where he is assigned as a forensic accountant. In this role, he is responsible for the review and analysis of financial evidence received in support of criminal and national security investigations. In addition to working at the FBI, Knight is an adjunct professor at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business in Bloomington and Indiana University-East where he teaches courses in fraud examination and
forensic accounting. 

May 3rd
8:30-9:50 am
Bringing It All Together - Panel Discussion, Q&A and Closing Remarks


Questions, or for more information, contact Lorie Marsh at lmarsh1@nd.edu.