Fraud in Local Government (Online Self-Study)


Fraud in Local Government

CPE Credit: 4
Course Level: Overview
Prerequisite: None


Government agencies are major targets for internal and external fraud schemes. Some of the most significant government frauds involve small, local government entities which often have limited oversight and scarce resources. In this course, you will learn about some of the most common types of schemes that occur at the local level and the measures that can be taken to prevent them.

Key Takeaways:

Real-world examples of fraud schemes committed against local governments

Reasons why government entities are prime targets for fraud

Motivations for why government employees might commit fraud

The most common frauds at the local level, including occupational fraud, public corruption, procurement fraud and grant fraud

Cost-effective strategies for preventing and detecting fraud in local governments

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Table of Contents:

Lesson 1: Introduction

Lesson 2: Local Government as a Target for Fraud

Lesson 3: Types of Government Employees

Lesson 4: Asset Misappropriation

Lesson 5: Cooking the Books and Municipal Bond Fraud

Lesson 6: Bribery, Illegal Gratuities, and Extortion

Lesson 7: Conflicts of Interest

Lesson 8: Making and Concealing Corrupt Payments

Lesson 9: The Procurement Process

Lesson 10: Collusion Among Contractors

Lesson 11: Collusion Between Government Employees and Contractors

Lesson 12: Performance Schemes

Lesson 13: The Grant Process

Lesson 14: Grant Schemes

Lesson 15: Anti-Fraud Education

Lesson 16: Developing and Maintaining an Ethical Climate

Lesson 17: Other Fraud Prevention and Detection Measures

CPE Information:

You Will Learn How To:

Identify the characteristics that make local governments attractive targets for fraudsters

Determine which internal control weaknesses can make local governments more susceptible to fraud

Recognize how government employees might collude with outside parties to carry out schemes

Identify measures that can be taken to protect local government departments from fraud

Recall the various fraud schemes that can affect local government entities

Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge

Last updated: September 2015

ACFE online self-study courses feature:

24/7 access to courses through your Internet browser
Save time and quickly earn CPE credits with instant access, grading and printable certificate
The flexibility to start or stop a course and pick-up right where you left off
No additional shipping fees

Learn more about accessing your online self-study course.

Learn more about online self-study courses and their features.

System requirements:

Internet access: High-speed connection recommended

Free Adobe Flash Player

Speakers required for video sound

Online Self-Study Troubleshooting Guide:

Problem: When I attempt to access my courses from “My Online Learning,” the course never launches, or I receive an error message saying my pop-up blocker needs to be turned off.

Solution: Your web browser must be configured to allow pop-ups in order to access ACFE Self-Study courses. Your browser may prompt you to allow pop-ups, or you may have to allow them manually. You may either allow them for all sites, or allow them just for the current site.

For information on how to manage your pop-up blocker settings in a specific browser, click the link below that corresponds to the browser you are using:

Internet Explorer
Google Chrome

Also note that many toolbars, such as the Google Toolbar and Yahoo! include pop-up blockers as well. If you have one or more toolbars installed on your browser with built-in pop-up blockers, you must configure them to allow pop-ups.

Problem: When I click on a course from “My Online Learning,” I am presented with a login page, but my username and password won’t allow me to log in.

Solution: You do not have to log in a second time to access your online self-study. You most likely reached the login page because you clicked the link labeled “Click Here” as shown below:

Online SS Image Absorb Error

Do not click that link; instead, allow your browser to automatically open the eLearning window on its own, which should happen after a few seconds. This will log you in automatically so that you can access your online courses.

Problem: I receive the following error when I try to load a different lesson with a course:

SS Online API Error

Solution: This occurs in Internet Explorer when trying to load a different lesson without closing the current lesson. This error can be avoided two different ways:

Always close the current lesson before going to another one. Always click the Close Window button (usually the red “X” in the upper right corner) of the current lesson before clicking on another lesson.

Use a different browser. This error seems to only occur in Internet Explorer, so using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome should resolve the issue (see below for links to download either of these browsers).

Other Troubleshooting Tips: If you encounter other errors, such as courses freezing or crashing, we recommend taking the following action:

Try a different browser. ACFE online self-study courses are designed to run on all modern web browsers, but if you encounter a problem that is not solved using one of the suggestions above, you can try using a different web browser to see if it eliminates the problem. We have most frequently seen where using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome has resolved an issue that was seen in Internet Explorer.

Mozilla Firefox can be downloaded here
Google Chrome can be downloaded here

Make sure you are running the latest version of Flash. Go to to see what version of Flash you are running, and then compare that to the table on that page to see what the latest version is for your operating system/browser combination. If you are not running the newest version, you should upgrade and see if that resolves the problem.