• Career Center : Making A Career Change

    Former Insurance Specialist Fights Fraud  

    Rich Kelly, CFE  

    Senior Partner  

    Predegate, LLC  

    Utica, NY, USA 


    Rich Kelly, CFE, was working as a liability specialist for a mid-size insurance company when he decided to take a different path in his professional life. He went back to college in 2000 to earn his master's degree, and this ultimately led him to a new career in fighting fraud.


    Kelly earned his M.S. in Economic Crime Management at Utica College and then joined their faculty in 2006, where he currently serves in the following roles: Economic Crime and Justice Studies internship coordinator and assistant professor of Economic Crime Investigation.


    Kelly knew that earning the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) credential would be a worthwhile investment in his new career. "Working as an educator in a fraud related field, it didn't take me long to realize that the CFE credential is the biggest and most sought after designation in the fraud fighting industry," Kelly said. "I felt that if I were to recommend the CFE credential to my students to make them more knowledgeable and marketable down the road that I should also lead by example."


    While serving as one of the faculty advisors for the ACFE Student Chapter at Utica College and also a member of the Upstate New York Chapter in Syracuse, Kelly received a summer fellowship to attend the CFE Exam Review Course in 2008 and earned his CFE credential that December. "I finally pushed myself to attend the CFE Exam Review Course and complete the CFE Exam," Kelly said. "Personally and professionally it has been one of the best moves I've ever made."


     Becoming a CFE also gave him the knowledge and confidence to provide professional fraud consulting through a firm called Predegate LLC, established by Kelly and two partners. Predegate LLC gives Kelly the opportunity to work with local businesses, non-profit organizations, and individuals to provide fraud awareness training and develop customized solutions to mitigate fraud risks and threats.


    "Our strengths definitely lie in our training abilities," Kelly said, noting that the threesome offer fraud prevention seminars on topics such as identity theft and red flags of fraud. "We're also in the process of developing customized data driven tools which analyze complex transaction flows, detect unusual data patterns, and identify suspect transactions and accounts."


    Looking back, Kelly knows he made the right choice in taking a different path 10 years ago. It's led to a rewarding anti-fraud career with many new challenges and opportunities ahead.