ACFE Greece Chapter Hosts Historic Fraud Conference
The Hellenic ACFE Chapter welcomed more than 800 attendees to the very first Hellenic Anti-Fraud Conference in Athens, Greece, Oct. 18, 2012. The conference focused on “Addressing the Phenomenon of Fraud” and covered such topics as corporate ethics, financial statement fraud, whistleblowing, insurance fraud and offshore enterprise fraud.
“This was our first attempt to organize something at this scale with a strong focus on elements of fraud, regulations and laws specific to Greece,” said Eui Dimitroulia, Hellenic ACFE Chapter Training and Events Director. “It was a good opportunity to make our chapter visible in the community and let local professionals know that we offer educational opportunities led by anti-fraud experts in order to take fraud investigations to the next level.”
The conference featured speakers from government entities, the private industry and law professors from top Greek universities. They led attendees through interactive sessions while sharing real-world examples and strategies. Some of the featured speakers included Panagiotis Georgiou, President of the Hellenic ACFE and General Manager at National Bank of Greece; Alexandros Tourkolias, CEO of the National Bank of Greece; Robert Sikellis, General Counsel and Regional Compliance Officer at Siemens; Yioannis Drakoulis, Senior Manager at Ernst & Young; Nikos Peppas, Country Manager of Greece and Cyprus, SAS Institute; and Emmanouil Sfakianakis, Head of Police Cybercrime Investigation Unit.
During the opening remarks, Leonidas-Phoebus Koskos, President of the Hellenic American University, announced that the university will offer a grant to ACFE members each academic year in the name of the deceased Zisimos Dedousis, a distinguished member of Hellenic ACFE Chapter. Professor Panayotis Alexakis, Department of Economics, National University of Athens, announced they will partner with the ACFE and launch a postgraduate level program in internal audit.
Additional highlights of the conference included Ernst & Young and KPMG presenting the results of two recent surveys on fraud. The surveys revealed that 95 percent of respondents felt that the current negative economic climate was conducive to fraud, and 50 percent of Greek executives considered the illegal payments for maintaining or reaching new contracts as “legitimate.” During the closing remarks, Georgiou added, “In the coming period, due to the current economic reform, we expect an increase in identity theft scams or frauds through the Internet and against insurance companies for compensation.”
“We believe that now that all eyes are on Greece due to its economic reform it is a great opportunity to promote such initiatives exactly where we need it the most,” Dimitroulia said. “We take members’ feedback very seriously, and there is a great demand for international speakers who can provide new and different perspectives on business challenges, as well as daily hands-on workshops that offer deeper insights into trends and prevention tools to fight fraud. It pleases us to see that the ACFE headquarters is supporting a global initiative. It gives us great strength to repeat it next year.”
Congratulations to the Hellenic ACFE Chapter on a successful and historic event!
To read more about the first-ever Hellenic Anti-Fraud Conference, check out this local news coverage of the event (please note all articles are in Greek):
Large Increase in Fraud in the Coming MonthsFirst Conference of Certified Fraud ExaminersFraud Costs Billions WorldwideCrisis an Opportunity for Corruption2012 Hellenic ACFE Antifraud ConferenceAlso, visit the ACFE’s Facebook page here to view photos from the conference.
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