Fraud fighters today face many of the same challenges as they did at the start of the last century, a leading investigator told accountants, academics and attorneys at the Fraud & Forensic Accounting Education Conference May 16 in Atlanta.

Jerry Decker, the deputy director of enforcement and investigations for the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, recounted a 1930s scandal in which a twice-convicted felon assumed an alias, bought a large public company and continued his fraudulent ways for years before being caught. Even though the failures of the company’s auditors led to tougher regulations, many of the issues that were uncovered remain pertinent today: a lack of professional skepticism, failure to confirm inventory and accounts receivable, and making poor judgment calls.

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