The Fraud Examiner
ACFE Authorised Trainer Draws on Many Decades of Anti-Fraud Work at the UN and USAID
ACFE Member Profile
Hossam El Shaffei, CFE
Partner, Risk Advisory Services
Hossam El Shaffei, CFE, has been interested in fighting fraud since first seeing normalized bribery occur in his native Middle East. Currently a partner specializing in risk advisory services at RSM Consulting, he has more than 35 years of global and regional work experience in multinational
organizations such as the United Nations (UN) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID). El Shaffei also established ACFE chapters in Egypt and Jordan, and recently became an Authorised Trainer for the CFE Exam Review Course in Jordan, Egypt
How did you first
become passionate about fighting fraud?
I was born and raised in Egypt. The Middle East has a culture where it is appropriate that you give “baksheesh” — a little extra money for any services that you receive — in restaurants, supermarkets, etc. I started to become passionate about fighting fraud when baksheesh started to
switch to an entitlement. People would not provide you the services that you paid for unless you paid them something extra; even at times telling you that the extra was not enough and asking for more. Baksheesh essentially switched from a “voluntary” payment to a “must” payment.
This became a widespread way for corruption to flourish at all levels in the public and private sectors and was not limited to supermarkets and restaurants any more. I always hated being forced to pay for something that was within my rights to receive. I also hated paying an
additional amount for something I already paid for. Also, it was very clear for me that the tighter anti-corruption controls are implemented, the more expensive the baksheesh gets.
I decided I needed to help organizations and individuals in their fight against fraud and corruption. It is important for staff in any organization to be empowered to speak up when something seems wrong. It is equally important for organizations to have strong ethical principles to combat fraud,
corruption, abuse of authority, harassment and the like. Tone at the top is incredibly important.
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