Friday, March 20, 2009

FAMU Collaborates with Internal Revenue Service for the Third Annual Criminal Investigations Forensic Accounting Workshop

Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice and the School of Business and Industry in collaboration with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation will sponsor a Forensics Accounting Workshop Wednesday, March 25 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the School of Business and Industry Building North Wing, Room 447-B.

FAMU hosted the first workshop in 2006 and is the only historically black college or university to conduct such a project. This is also the third collaboration of this kind in the state of Florida.

Based on an increasing interest in the study and investigation of financial crimes through the use of forensic accounting principles, the workshop offers a unique program that will assign FAMU students to teams responsible for solving several hypothetical crimes.

The hypothetical scenarios challenge the students by presenting “real world” situations. Each group of students, working as a “task force,” will have an experienced IRS Special Agent serving as a coach, but it will be up to the students to follow the appropriate “paper trail” to resolve the scenario. The four-hour investigations may start with an anonymous informant, a meeting with local law enforcement, or even a bag of garbage. Once given a starting point, the students will select the next steps in gathering evidence. These steps usually take them to potential witnesses played by seasoned IRS Special Agents. The students will utilize tools available to federal law enforcement officers, including undercover operations, surveillances, subpoenas, and search warrants. At the end of the scenarios, the students will meet as a group to discuss the lessons learned from their respective investigations.

Through this project, the Internal Revenue Service hopes to generate interest among qualified students in its unique brand of criminal investigation, while preparing prospective applicants by giving them a taste of the world of forensic accounting and financial investigation.

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