New York (Oct. 15, 2003) -- With 134 major cases of corporate fraud being investigated and still numerous questions about how to deal with Sarbanes-Oxley ramifications, the American Institute of CPAs and the Federal Bureau of Investigations thought it was time to work closer together.

On Nov. 6, 2003 the AICPA, senior members of management of the FBI, and the Department of Justice will join forces to present a free, interactive Webcast about preventing and detecting corporate financial fraud. The Webcast, entitled Arresting Financial Fraud: The Inside Story From the FBI, begins at 1:00pm EDT and qualifies for two CPE credits.

The Webcast will cover the nature of the corporate fraud problem, how fraud can be prevented, what a criminal investigation entails, Sarbanes-Oxley and its legal ramifications, intricacies, and what these represent for the profession and the law.

“Historically I’ve dealt with CPA firms and have had great relationship with the profession due to their commitment to facts and clarity,” said Grant Ashley, CPA, assistant director and chief, criminal investigative division of the FBI. “I’ve been speaking with Barry [Melancon] about what we could do to take the AICPA’s preeminent status in the profession and the FBI’s role in these criminal investigations and work together. This was a natural progression.”

Keith Slotter, CPA and chief of the FBI’s financial crimes section, claims there are 525 CPAs in the FBI and a total of 1,200 accountants. He said that in addition to education, there is an employment component to the FBI’s relationship with the AICPA.

“We have determined that in next five years 80 percent of our accountants could retire, and as such we have a goal that 15 percent of all new agents will be accountants,” Slotter said. “We always need the accountants. Their role is such they can work broad investigations from crime to counterintelligence.”

Ashley added that he hopes that three years from now the problem of corporate fraud “is not on everyone’s front burner.”

In addition to Ashley and Slotter, Webcast speakers will include Gary Dagan, CPA, chief of the FBI’s economic crimes unit; and Christopher Wray, assistant attorney general and chief of the U.S. DOJ’s criminal division.

Anyone interested in the Webcast can go to www.cpa2biz.com/webcasts .

-- Seth Fineberg

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