Hollywood, Calif. (Aug. 8, 2002) -- The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners plans to roll out a number of new initiatives by year-end, its chairman told members at the association's 13th Annual Fraud Conference and Trade Show.

The ACFE will launch the first Institute for Fraud Studies at the University of Texas, Austin. The goal of the IFS will be to study the causes and cures of fraud, ACFE chairman Joseph Wells told nearly 1,000 attendees during the conference's opening session Monday.

The IFS will be funded through donations and grants from the ACFE and other partners, including the American Institute of CPAs. Wells said contributions from the ACFE, AICPA and other partners are expected to total between $1 million and $2 million for the first year or two. An executive director will be named by the end of December. The IFS will also have a board composed of academics, practitioners and government officials. One of the first research projects the IFS will tackle, which could begin next fall, will be to study how investors can better protect themselves against fraud, Wells said.

In addition to the IFS, the ACFE will launch a professional education program. The four-hour anti-fraud education course will be available online worldwide at the end of the year. The ACFE also plans to open a European office in the United Kingdom, where the largest contingent of its 1,500 European members are based.

-- Melissa Klein

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