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1. SEC filed record number of enforcement actions in fiscal year 2014   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
With the help of new investigative approaches—and data and analytical tools—the SEC filed a record 755 enforcement actions totaling $4.16 billion in disgorgement and penalties in fiscal year 2014, the securities regulator announced Thursday.The totals for the 2014 fiscal year, which ended in September, are preliminary figures. The SEC filed 686 enforcement actions totaling $3.4 billion in fiscal year 2013, and 734 enforcement actions totaling $3.1 billion in fiscal year 2012.More than 135 parties were charged with violations relating to reporting and disclosure in fiscal year 2014.

2. What's your fraud IQ?  

BY Andi McNeal, CPA
Nearly all organizations rely on vendors to provide certain goods and services to facilitate their business operations. Whether for repairs or maintenance service, a purchase of office supplies, a consulting engagement, or a large capital contract, the need for vendors is universal—but it also carries an inherent risk of fraud.

3. Board members keenly focused on risk   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
Corporate board members of U.S. public companies are keenly focused on risk, but many are not comfortable with their understanding of which risks the companies are willing to take, according to new PwC survey results released Tuesday.In the interest of reducing fraud risk, an increasing percentage of board members are:Holding discussions regarding tone at the top (54% in 2014, up from 46% in 2012).Interacting more below the executive level (50% in 2014, up from 31% in 2012).Holding discussions of insider trading controls (33% in 2014, up from 27% in 2012).Seventy percent of the 863 public company director

4. SEC expects to pay whistleblower a record $30 million   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
The SEC expects to pay an award of more than $30 million to a whistleblower—a total that’s more than twice the previous record payout announced in the commission’s 2-year-old whistleblower program.An informant living in a foreign country who provided important, original information that led to a successful SEC enforcement action will receive the award.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.
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