The Fraud Examiner

New CFE Finds Fulfillment in Anti-Fraud Industry After Career in Law Enforcement


March 2019

ACFE Member Profile
Scott Lake, CFE
Audit Consultant
State Farm

Scott Lake, CFE, has a history of helping people. Before he joined State Farm, where he is an internal audit investigator, he worked more than 15 years in law enforcement. “Whether in law enforcement or corporate fraud investigations, I have often been most proud of my work when I realized the outcome had purpose — that it really helped someone right when they needed it,” he said. He recently earned his CFE with the 90-Day CFE Exam Challenge and enjoys taking RV trips with his family in his spare time.

How did you become passionate about fighting fraud?

I’ve been involved in informing and protecting the public for almost 20 years. I have a law enforcement background and spent several years working undercover narcotics assignments. Through investigating drug crimes, I became exposed to the secondary ways that money laundering and fraud were used to support those particular criminal activities. The skills I gained interviewing drug-dealing suspects allowed me to understand the psychological reasons people mishandle money and take advantage of others. This sparked an interest in fighting fraud. My professional journey into the field of corporate fraud investigation is fairly recent, as I entered into the private sector and became an internal audit investigator in 2017.

What is one of the biggest lessons you have learned since entering the fraud prevention field?

Continual learning and willingness to collaborate and share information are prerequisites for success, especially as we battle new fraud methods and advise organizations how to protect themselves against modern threats. As processes and technologies advance, fraudsters will undoubtedly find new ways to manipulate systems for their own benefit. It is up to all fraud fighters to proactively watch for those patterns so we can collectively learn to recognize, detect and interrupt fraudulent activity.

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