Student Classwork Results in Magazine Article
Department: Business, Accounting, & Economics
Otterbein students turned a class assignment into an article in the current issue of Fraud Magazine, illustrating, once again, the tight connection between academics and the professional world.
The article, entitled Comptroller, Horse Lady and Crook – How one woman (allegedly) embezzled $53 million appeared in the September/October 2012 issue of Fraud Magazine. A second installment, “The Horses Take a Nasty Fall – Equestrian comptroller’s alleged $53 million exposed” will appear in the November/December 2012 issue.
Fraud Magazine is published by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) for its members and others interested in fraud and white-collar crime. The publication has a circulation of nearly 65,000.
Professor Henry Smith’s class investigated the story and created a case study they submitted to the magazine. Smith, professor of accountancy, recognized the unique opportunity for his students to follow a high-profile case and apply the principles of fraud investigation. Smith teaches managerial and advanced managerial accounting, and a four-course fraud concentration at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.
Students searched court documents online, discovering thick stacks of financials that were audited, financial statements, indictments, searches, seizure warrants, all in complete detail.
“We uncovered the basic facts surrounding the case, found the court documents and financial statements to strengthen our case. Finding these documents allowed us the opportunity to analyze the data and report on it, instead of relying on news articles and reports,” explained MBA student Nichole Lawhorn.
Smith said the work of certified fraud examiners is becoming more crucial and more of them are needed by major accounting firms. Otterbein offers fraud investigation as an undergraduate concentration and in the MBA program or as a non-degree certification. Smith noted that professionals such as those in law enforcement, the judicial system, banking, and insurance can greatly benefit from the fraud certification.
Smith is a member of the ACFE Anti-Fraud Education Partnership, a past member of the Board of Directors of the Central Ohio Chapter of the ACFE and serves as the local chapter’s training director.