Career Center : Just Starting Out
Grace Corbett, CFE, BSA
President Compliance Specialist and Director of Risk Management
Sun East Federal Credit Union
Grace Corbett, CFE, enjoys her job heading up the various fraud investigations and audits for Sun East Federal Credit Union and ensuring compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). But she knows that to do her job well, and in the most efficient manner, she needs a good network of fellow anti-fraud professionals. She joined the ACFE for just that reason and has managed to build up a network she relies on constantly for her career. With new challenges like phishing schemes constantly plaguing her credit union and others, she knows every second counts in a fraud investigation when she's trying to protect the credit union and its assets.
Describe your job function (a day in the life of):
I currently oversee the BSA compliance, fraud investigations and audits [for Sun East Federal Credit Union]. Each day can bring on new challenges. It is rare that I have two days that are identical. I have a small team under me that is dedicated to making sure that the credit union is compliant in writing loans, opening accounts and many other areas within its operations. My team and I also conduct all of the fraud investigations. I work with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. If an investigation makes it to the prosecution, I also attend court as a witness. Not only do I oversee those areas, I conduct branch cash audits and work closely with senior tellers on hot fraud topics to make sure they are aware of current trends.
What advice would you give to someone hoping to follow a similar career path as you?
My advice to someone who may be interested in financial crimes is to stay focused and to take advantage of every learning opportunity that you can. You may never know when you are going to have to use what you have learned. Inquire about local fraud groups and become a member. These groups provide networking opportunities for you and will help you succeed. Make a plan and incorporate goals, and test throughout to make sure you are on the path to achieve those goals and/or accomplish your plan.
In your opinion, what are some of the biggest challenges and opportunities for CFEs today?
Some of the biggest challenges that I see for a CFE are the ever-changing laws and regulations. We have to make sure we understand the law as it pertains to each jurisdiction [in which] we are investigating. One of the opportunities for CFEs is there is always a demand for the services that we provide.
Please describe your most memorable case and its resolution.
I am currently working a case that involves multiple auto loans that were taken out on luxury vehicles from multiple financial institutions. These loans were [allegedly] granted with the use of counterfeit pay stubs and companies. These loans went into default and were placed for repossession. Some vehicles were not located and it was discovered that some vehicles were sold and the liens were [allegedly] fraudulently released and sold to innocent people. This case is currently in the trial phase, so the outcome has not been decided.
How important is networking to you as an anti-fraud professional?
Networking is key. It allows you to share experiences, both good and bad, with other anti-fraud professionals. Networking allows you to provide others with tips on conducting an investigation or just running a situation by someone. They may have already conducted an investigation relevant to your current case and they may be willing to help you. Most people are willing to share their successes and failures. Without networking skills, you can add many hours to your investigation. Knowing that you can pick up your phone and reach out to someone is all a part of the game.
What is your personal motto?
Enjoy every moment life gives you, for you never know when it may be your last.
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