Forensic accounting students to volunteer services for LI businesses

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Forensic accounting students at SUNY Old Westbury will be volunteering their services for free to local Long Island businesses and nonprofits that may be fraud victims, according to Newsday.

The initiative originated from David Glodstein, lead professor of SUNY Old Westbury's graduate forensic accounting program, who has been recruiting partners and promoting plans for the Justice for Fraud Victims Project over the past several months. School mentors will oversee groups of three to five students, with each team providing pro bono assistance to local small businesses and nonprofits who are potential fraud victims.

The hourly rate of forensic accountants can be high for small businesses and nonprofits, Glodstein said, as professionals need time examining and identifying misappropriation, embezzlement and other fraud. Glodstein added that fraud victims are often turned to law enforcement agencies that may not employ staff with the appropriate expertise to handle these cases.

“Say someone’s lost $5,000, but it’s going to cost another $5,000 to investigate — that might close the business or that might close the [nonprofit] organization," Glodstein told Newsday. "And who’s going to put another $5,000" [into recovering the loss?] That’s where we come in to do the investigation and get it ready for any legal proceeding that might take place.”

For more on the Justice for Fraud Victims Project, head to SUNY Old Westbury's site here.

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