‘Fraud Day’ speakers to present lessons to be learned from corporate fraud cases

by

Weston SmithWeston Smith

Three experts in corporate fraud will present their unique perspectives and experience as part of “Fraud Day” at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. The event will take place 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 6 (Friday) in the Downes Club, located on the seventh floor of Corbett Family Hall.

Weston Smith, former HealthSouth CFO turned whistleblower, is one of the featured speakers. A frequent lecturer on ethics and integrity in business, Smith will describe the culture of the company that supported the fraud, the mechanics of how the unethical accounting was put into place and how detection was avoided. Smith also has a message for broader audiences “to simply do the right thing” — a challenge to live and work responsibly.

Fraud Day sessions are free and open to the public. Those planning to attend the lunch must register on the event’s website. Registration is not required to attend the speaker sessions.

The complete Fraud Day agenda is as follows:

  • 10-11:15 a.m.: Andy Richmond, a vice president at Cornerstone Research in Chicago and forensic accounting expert who has led independent forensic accounting investigations for boards, special committees and management. Richmond investigated high-profile fraud schemes including Bernie Madoff, Stanford Financial and HealthSouth. He will discuss the role of forensic accountants in investigations and how fraudsters cook the books, as well as several fraud case studies.
  • 11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Christopher Norris, a director at global interrogation training company Wicklander-Zulawski and Associates. Norris, an expert in loss prevention and investigation, has conducted numerous investigations for both private companies and public agencies. He will present an overview of the WZ Non-Confrontational Method of interview, which is designed to provide the fraud investigator a strategy to address integrity issues and those involved in fraud.  
  • 12:30-1:45 p.m.: Lunch.
  • 1:45-3 p.m.: Weston Smith, who alerted federal investigators in 2003 to the massive accounting fraud perpetrated at health care giant HealthSouth. Smith was eventually sentenced to 27 months in prison for his role — one of the longest sentences ordered for any of the HealthSouth defendants.
  • 3:10-5 p.m.: Panel Discussion Final thoughts and closing remarks from all panelists.

The event is sponsored by the Center for Accounting Research and Education (CARE), an academic center at Mendoza that seeks to strengthen the bridges between accounting research, education and practice. CARE sponsors multiple research endeavors, including an annual conference that gathers industry, governmental and academic thought leaders from across the globe to discuss current issues in accounting.

For more information about Fraud Day, visit Mendoza.nd.edu. For parking information, visit map.nd.edu and select the Visitor Parking overlay to view available visitor parking areas on a map.

Contact: Lorie Marsh, program manager for the Center for Accounting Research and Education, lmarsh1@nd.edu

Originally published by Carol Elliott at mendoza.nd.edu on March 27.