The Fraud Examiner

French and American CFE Spreads Anti-Fraud Message Globally


September 2019

ACFE Member Profile
Natina Thalien, CFE
Global Compliance Auditor

Natina Thalien, CFE, did not set out to fight fraud but found herself deeply interested in it after moving from an internal audit role to compliance. Now a global compliance auditor for an international life science research and clinical diagnostics company, her dual citizenship in the U.S. and France, along with bilingual skills, have helped her spread anti-corruption and anti-fraud education in Europe, Eastern Europe and Africa. She is active in the ACFE France Chapter and is spearheading a campaign to teach children and teens how to protect themselves against identity theft and cybercrime. When she’s not fighting fraud, she enjoys horseback riding, table tennis and gourmet meals.

How did you become passionate about fighting fraud?

The position of fighting and preventing fraud actually chose me! I have lived in France since 2009, and leaving the U.S. as a director of internal audit left me to start over as an internal audit manager in France. I worked for a couple of international companies before landing my position as an internal audit project manager for an American company. In 2015, the American company wanted to create a compliance department where the commercial, legal and compliance departments would collaborate. A former colleague who worked in internal audit with me had already been a CFE for several years and they were asked to create the compliance department. Several months later, I was asked to assist on a compliance audit in a French-speaking territory to help translate. During this audit, I was asked to transfer from internal audit into compliance. I found the compliance audit interesting and inspiring.

Helping to educate others and raise awareness of anti-corruption, or preventative fraud measures, within a workplace has been both a personal and professional privilege. There is so much room for growth and improvement, and it feels that I am making a difference, even if it is “one grain of sand at a time.” Fraud-fighting became my real focus and passion in 2016 when I became a CFE and became more involved with the ACFE. It is vital in this profession to continue to grow, learn and network. The laws are more and more enforced, technology is becoming faster, and companies are getting smarter with knowing what auditors are looking for.

What steps led you to your current position at your company?

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