The Fraud Examiner

Engineer Turned CFE Helps Spread Anti-Fraud Training in Native Ghana

December 2016

ACFE Member Profile
David Antwi, CFE, CIA
Assitant Vice President of Retail Risk and Fraud Operations

Although David Antwi, CFE, CIA, began his career in the engineering field, but when he was introduced to fraud detection and prevention, he was drawn to it right away. Antwi, who is currently the assistant vice president of retail risk and fraud operations for GenPact, said that after his manager asked him to oversee billing fraud management for a week he was “so hooked that I asked to take on that responsibility full time.” He quickly got his CFE only a few months later and now tackles fraud on a regular basis. Antwi, who is originally from Ghana, is excited to help future fraud fighters, having established a website focused on training those interested in fighting fraud in the African banking environment.


Where were you born and raised?

I was born and raised in Ghana, West Africa. I am the second of five children and we had a happy childhood living with both parents. One fun fact about Ghana is that everyone has a name based on the day of the week they were born. I grew up playing and watching soccer, the national pastime.


How did you become passionate about fighting fraud and the anti-fraud industry?

Issues like bribery and corruption dominated the news in Africa when I worked in Ghana. It made me wonder if policies could be put in place to curtail that practice. When I came to the U.S., large fraud cases such as Enron and MCI were in the news, as well as generic fraud occurrences in banking, insurance and against vulnerable people like the elderly. These occurrences in both countries strengthened my resolve to fight fraud in whatever way that I could.


What steps led you to your current position and what does it entail?

I majored in mechanical engineering in Ghana. After I graduated, I worked in a bank where I helped write policies and procedures. Two years later, I moved to the U.S. I got my first taste for fraud prevention at MCI where I worked in internal controls. My background in engineering and writing procedures helped me understand what to look out for in internal controls. Later on, I became a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and got an MBA in international business. I took a job with Online Resources Corporation and later ACI Worldwide. There, I managed fraud risk and prevention and detection of fraud in online banking, automated clearing house (ACH) and wire transfers for large and small banks.


Now I am the assistant vice president of retail risk and fraud operations at Genpact. I leverage my knowledge and use it in fraud analytics for a better detection and prevention rate for its clients. Genpact employs advanced analytic and modeling tools to fight fraud. I have an appreciation of the various fraud scenarios that our clients face and suggest the appropriate analytical methods to provide a higher detection rate.


What are the most challenging aspects of being involved with risk and operations?

The changing nature of the fraud landscape and the creative lengths to which fraudsters go are always a challenge. Being able to put it together and track the case from start to finish is a very satisfying challenge.


What are the most important skills that you have learned throughout your career?

Honesty, curiosity and to leave no stone unturned. It’s important to be curious enough about circumstances that might look slightly out of the ordinary and also to follow through with your investigation and research until you reach a logical conclusion. For example, there might be something about a regular bank transaction that could turn out to be a fraudulent transfer which the account owner has no knowledge of.


How has earning the CFE credential benefited your career?

Being a CFE makes my opinion on fraud issues more credible. My explanations on why or how a fraud incident occurred is not just an opinion, but is backed by the CFE credential. There are also job opportunities that come to me because of the CFE credential.

Why did you decide to become a CFE?

I had worked previously as a CIA within the internal controls unit and after a few years, I moved into operational risk management at another company. One day around August 2011, my manager went on vacation. He asked me to keep an eye on the online billing fraud management piece. I hadn’t done any work in this area but by the time he returned a week later, I was so hooked that I asked to take on that responsibility full time. This was my first interaction with any kind of fraud. I researched a lot about the anti-fraud field and that’s when I decided to become a CFE to demonstrate commitment, recognition and expertise in the field. I got my certification in December of that same year.

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