Leveraging higher education, accounting professionals, and law enforcement to assist victims of crime
The SUNY Old Westbury Justice for Fraud Victims Project (JFVP) offers victims of fraud across Long Island support in their pursuit of restitution while also providing vital skill-building experience for students of the College.
JFVP’s goal is to assist victims of suspected financial fraud in cases where forensic investigative services are limited or too costly. With the assistance and oversight of Certified Fraud Examiners and other professionals, the students will become a force multiplier for victims in establishing the method by which a fraud was perpetrated and in quantifying the damages so the case can be prosecuted. At the same time, accounting students will obtain real world experience in the field of forensic accounting.
CASES AND MENTORS NEEDED
The SUNY Old Westbury School of Business and the AFCE Long Island Chapter are developing a network of professionals from the accounting, law enforcement, legal and fraud examination fields to both refer cases for action and to serve as mentors for students engaged in forensic reviews.
Criteria that may be used for JFVP case selection include, but are not limited to, demonstrated financial need (i.e. inability to afford a full certified fraud examination), victim and witness cooperation with the investigation, and whether or not the crime occurred within the statute of limitations for prosecution.
Benefits for Victims
The cost of obtaining a fraud examination by a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) is often prohibitive for victims. JFVP can help them obtain justice where fraud occurred and they suffered financial harm. Without this project, the large volume of financial fraud cases confronting scarce law enforcement resources might leave the victims of financial fraud without the resources and assistance needed to pursue the perpetrators of the fraud through forensic accounting.
Benefits for Students
JFVP will provide invaluable real-world experience in forensic accounting for students enrolled in the College’s Master of Science in Forensic Accounting program. Opportunities to allow students to work in “real world” environments do not come along often. JFVP will take students out of a standard classroom environment to perform as forensic accountants. Through this experience, students will not just talk about how forensic accounting is done, but they will confront real world complications in investigating white collar crime. This experience simply cannot be replicated anywhere. Whether or not a student is interested in forensic accounting as a career, the techniques and the mindset necessary to perform a successful investigation will serve them well throughout their career.
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