The Cliff Robertson Sentinel Award The ACFE’s Cliff Robertson Sentinel Award is bestowed annually on a person who, without regard to personal or professional consequences, has publicly disclosed wrongdoing in business or government — the unselfish hero whom society has tarred as being a “whistleblower.” These individuals are corporate sentinels, our frontline of defense against wrongdoing, and we created this award to recognize their sacrifices. The ACFE proudly welcomed Michael Woodford to the 23rd Annual Fraud Conference & Exhibition in 2012, where he accepted this award and gave a keynote address about his Olympus ordeal.The award is named after the Academy-Award-winning actor who, in the late ’70s, discovered a Hollywood producer was creating phony royalty checks, forging the signatures of those for whom the checks were intended and pocketing the cash. This powerful mogul threatened Robertson, telling him that if Robertson reported him, he’d never work in Hollywood again. Robertson went forward with his report and as a result he was blacklisted and wasn’t hired again in the film industry until years later. Today, whistleblowers like Cliff Robertson continue to face threats and retaliation from their superiors and colleagues, yet they choose to speak out regardless. Recent Cliff Robertson Sentinal Award Winners include: Michael Woodford (2012) – the former Olympus president exposed an alleged $1.7 billion loss-hiding scheme at the Japanese corporation. Read more from The Wall Street Journal.
William H. McMasters (2011) – The Boston publicist who, in 1920, helped take down the most notorious pyramid schemer of them all: Charles Ponzi. Amy Stroupe (2010) -- Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) who served as fraud investigator for a large regional bank in North Carolina. In the execution of her responsibilities, she uncovered a land development fraud worth millions of dollars. Her bank had unwittingly participated in the fraud by lending a questionable $20 million to duped investors, loans whose paperwork did not completely pass muster. Pamela Davis (2009) – CEO of a Chicago-area hospital who worked with the FBI, including wearing a wire, to expose a kickback fraud. Her efforts would help investigators prosecute three fraudsters for their illegal scheme. Mark Lund (2008) -- Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety inspector who discovered improper safety standards at a major airline during a mechanics’ strike. After reporting several serious safety infractions, he was ‘grounded’ with a desk job – but was vindicated when the Inspector General admonished the FAA for its handling of the matter.
Inside Olympus: the Fraud, the Whistleblower and the Ongoing Investigation
Michael Woodford, Olympus Whistleblower
The Cliff Robertson Sentinel Award
“It’s very encouraging to receive the Sentinel Award from the ACFE. It lifts my soul because it’s been a pretty miserable time.”
— Michael Woodford,Former Olympus CEO and whistleblower