CPAs as Crime Fighters

This isn’t our usual fare, but we found it pretty fascinating.

The Journal of Accountancy has a great article running on the CPA as a Criminal Pursuing Agent.

Durkin was an FBI agent working undercover as he had a drink with known members of an organized crime group at a fancy restaurant in Los Angeles. The goal was to establish a business relationship between their crime ring and a faux accounting firm Durkin had established. If all went well, the meeting would be another step in building a case against the criminals. If something went wrong and Durkin’s cover was blown, he could find himself in mortal danger.

“You had to be careful,” he said. “These were very bad guys.”

All went well at the meeting until it came time for Durkin to pay the bill. Then something went wrong.

The article goes on to detail many of the places where accountants in general and CPAs in particular are used in law enforcement.   Of cource, CPAs are hired for enforcement agencies such as the FBI, the SEC and IRS.  There are special offices for forensic accounting specialists and fraud detection.

Our preference is for CPAs to spend their time keeping clients honest and out of trouble, but if that sounds boring to you, the article lists a number of entries into more exciting work.

The article is an interesting read. Check out the complete article.