The Fraud Examiner

Fighting Fraud in Iceland


December 2012 

ACFE Member Profile 


Last month, Hinrik Pálsson became Iceland's newest Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). Based in Reykjavik, Pálsson serves as Detective Chief Inspector for the Office of the Special Prosecutor, where he heads several investigative teams that deal with financial fraud. He said that banking fraud is one of the issues weighing on the minds of Icelanders today.


What is the role of the Office of the Special Prosecutor in regards to fraud in Iceland? 

The agency was set up specifically to investigate fraud in relation to the banking crisis.  In the autumn of 2008 almost the whole Icelandic financial system collapsed.  The agency began very small in early 2009, with five people, but has now grown into an organization counting around 110 employees, including prosecutors, investigators and supporting staff. Today the Office of the Special Prosecutor handles all serious cases of economic and financial crime in Iceland.


Please tell us about some of your responsibilities as Detective Chief Inspector. 

Investigative teams at the agency are set up on project management basis. My responsibility as Detective Chief Inspector is the daily running of several investigative teams that each count 2-6 investigators.


What are some of the most serious fraud threats and challenges being seen in Iceland today? 

Fraud and unethical behavior in the financial sector has received a lot of attention in recent years in wake of the banking crisis from 2008 and onwards. Polls have also shown that the public rates serious economic and financial crime to be more of a threat than in used to be.


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