If you think anti-fraud expertise is only good for putting unscrupulous CEOs behind bars, think again. CFEs are involved in preventing and detecting not only corporate financial crimes, but tracking terrorist funding, public corruption, organized crime, and drug-related crimes.
In April, the FBI announced the CFE designation as an officially recognized critical skill set under the Diversified Special Agent Hiring Subprogram.
"We appreciate the value of the CFE," says Chris Swecker, assistant director for the Criminal Investigative Division of the FBI.
"In fact, this is the only professional certification that we recognize for the Special Agent program. There is a great need for the Certified Fraud Examiner skill set because it is a sophisticated certification used to unravel very complex schemes," explains Swecker. "Since the CFE skill set cuts across all of our disciplines we can place a CFE in any area - counter intelligence, cyber financial frauds, terrorism funding - and be confident they will succeed."
Swecker, who oversees more than half of the FBI's 30,000 employees, is responsible for directing all criminal investigative programs nationwide. These investigations focus on financial, violent, and organized crime; public corruption; violation of individual civil rights; corporate fraud; and drug-related crimes.
In his 16 years of FBI experience, Swecker was the on-scene commander of FBI operations in Iraq, helped dismantle a Hezbollah terror cell in Charlotte, N.C., and assisted in the investigation and capture of Eric Robert Rudolph, the "Olympic Park Bomber."
"We have tremendous responsibilities in preventing and investigating white-collar fraud like money laundering," he says. "And tracking terrorism funding is becoming one of our top priorities."
Swecker says ACFE members can support the FBI's mission by constructing a robust reporting and detection mechanism within their entities. "Even in situations where it may seem premature to contact the FBI, we need to know about fraud schemes, trends and patterns that are emerging," says Swecker. "A two-way flow of information is ideal."