Career Center: Take Me to the Next Level
Dante Fuentes, CFE, CPA
Chief Compliance Officer
“Think fraud, fight fraud, anytime, anywhere. Sacrifice for the good of others,” says Dante Fuentes, CFE, CPA. Raised in one of the most populated cities in the Philippines, Fuentes is Chief Compliance Officer for Security Bank, one of the top 10 local banks in the Philippines. Fuentes is also president of his local ACFE chapter and finds that the most rewarding aspect of his job is that he is able to help others reach their full potential from the training he gives them. “I am able to coach and mentor, learn skills that better myself, and I am able to pay it forward and assist someone else in the same way.”
Where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised in Davao City, Philippines.
When did you become passionate about fighting fraud?
I became passionate about fighting fraud when I worked in a bank in 1978 as a savings account bookkeeper.
Why did you decide to become a CFE?
I decided to become a CFE because I was fascinated with why people commit deceit for their personal advantage, why good people do bad things and what causes unethical behaviors.
What do you think contributed to your success moving into your current position?
More than the experience, the training I received from the ACFE helped me improve and achieve my goals in my current positions.
What does your current role entail?
As the Chief Compliance Officer at Security Bank, part of my job is not only to help prevent misdemeanors and fraud in the organization, but also to lead money laundering investigations. I am the lead senior officer for purposes of administering the compliance program and interacting with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines) on compliance-related issues. I also oversee the design of an appropriate compliance system, promote its effective implementation and address breaches that may arise. I report the matter to the Board, and recommend the imposition of appropriate disciplinary action on the guilty parties and the adoption of measures to prevent a repetition of the violation. I am responsible for ensuring the integrity and accuracy of all documentary submissions to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. My job requires me to have the commensurate skills and expertise to provide appropriate guidance and direction to the bank on the development, implementation and maintenance of the compliance program.
My other affiliations, such as being the president of the ACFE local chapter (ACFE – Philippines), the president of the Association of Bank Compliance Officers, Inc. (ABCOMP) and one of the Senior Advisers of the Good Governance Advocates and Practitioners of the Philippines (GGAPP), entails managing/administering my peers on matters related to fraud detection and prevention from which the knowledge and experience I acquired from being a CFE was a big help.
How do you think your CFE credential has helped you in your role?
Having the CFE credential helped boost my fraud prevention and detection skills, knowledge of conducting an investigation and having strong ethical behavior. And, to say the least, people respect my opinion.
What are the best opportunities for someone entering into your career?
The best opportunity for someone entering into a career like mine would be the experience gained through the years of exposure in your field of endeavor and proper training.
What do you wish you knew (but didn’t) when you first contemplated this career?
I wish I knew in the early part of my career that there was a formal organization of fraud warriors.
Is there a memorable case or project that you have worked on? Feel free to alter details to protect confidential information.
Indeed I do. My most memorable case with fraud was very painful. Early in my career, I investigated my best friend, who was my co-employee in a bank. He recommended me to the bank where we both worked, and his parents and my parents are very close friends. When my best friend was suspected to have abstracted cash, I was assigned to do the investigation and make a recommendation. The problem was, should I exonerate my friend or do what is right? I chose to do what is right. My best friend was terminated. I did not realize then that I had to go through and experience this emotional process and overcome it to be a better fraud fighter.
After the first experience, almost 200 more fraud investigations followed. Most of the fraud cases I have investigated in the banks I worked with were committed by first-time offenders, therefore easier to investigate and prosecute – unlike a money laundering investigation which is a more complex and sophisticated fraud committed by seasoned, learned and mostly powerful people.
How did you get involved with the Philippines Chapter?
Curiosity. Then I realized the good the ACFE can do for me as a fraud fighter and to be a better person.
What do you consider to be the most important values a CFE must have?
The most important values of a CFE are to have a strong character and moral integrity.
When you are not working, what types of things do you enjoy doing?
My Monday and Wednesday nights are for bowling. This is my “me” time with friends. In fact, I just bought my new bowling shoes when I attended the conference in Baltimore.
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