Dan Ramey Forensic Accountant; Expert Witness; Conference Speaker; Forensic Accounting & ERM Professor and all things fraud. Dan is a mentor and more importantly a friend to me. His wealth of experience and knowledge make him a thought leader in the fraud world. We talk about creativity and embezzlement, crypto and fraud, podcasts, Enron, Rita Crundwell, Collin Street Bakery. This is another great Great Women in Fraud podcast with a leader in the field.
This past week I took some time to enjoy the holidays but I was able to listen to a lot of podcasts while traveling. Number one crazy was Swindled Episode 74, The OB-GYN. You must listen. Truly. It made me so angry at how this went on for so long. Women’s health and profiting from it. Wow. I never could have imagined. I’m also continuing to listen to Bad Blood the Final Frontier. The Elizabeth Holmes trial is getting to the home stretch. I really have no idea how it will go. A friend posted a Washington Post opinion piece, Women can be evil too. With Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial and Elizabeth Holmes ongoing it seems that women are getting some ink so to speak. It starts out: Two villainesses have captured the nation’s attention from the courtroom this week. Or is that two victims? An interesting read for sure. Let’s get started with Dan’s interview.
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Kelly Paxton: Now this question, I hope I know the answer to who makes better and better embezzlers men or women?
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Dan Ramey: um that's an interesting one, so some of the larger ones i've done have been men, but the ones that are more sophisticated and.
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Dan Ramey: More finesse and a little bit more creative are the women.
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Kelly Paxton: love it.
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Dan Ramey: I thought you would but it is it's while they may not be as large they are I will admit the ones that i've done have been more creative.
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Dan Ramey: started in corporate America was with large oil and gas.
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Dan Ramey: We were in Dallas they wanted me to move to Houston to clean up, believe it or not, a huge fraud that occurred, and this was to help like get the accounting department set up again and do everything and none of us wanted to come to Houston because it was like Houston and vs Dallas.
And we came down here and literally fell in love with Houston and I know some people just went Oh, are you kidding me but we love Houston we've got great church and great friends and schools and so many so much stuff in Houston the weather's great.
And we stayed, and so I stayed in corporate for about 11 years and then went from CPA firm to kind of back to corporate internal audit ran audit for a couple of companies and then.
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Dan Ramey: It was my head hurt after two of the days it was it was so difficult getting through some of this but here's my point.
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Dan Ramey: Our fraudsters are moving to crypto I mean there is just no question it's it's quick it's easy one of the things the FBI is seeing.
Right now, and seeing an increase is that the fraudsters are getting involved in a romance scam taking over a bank account, then doing a business email compromise sending the money to the romance scam romance scam account so that's a lot of words.And then immediately it goes into crypto where before they had multiple.
Moves before they could get it out of the country and the FBI has some kill switches that they can sometimes in the with the right timing and everything.
Can stop those transfers Well now, then, if they can get it to that romance scam within minutes, they can pop it into crypto and run it through a tumbler or you know, three or four exchanges and it's lost it's gone and so.
That that methodology of moving that money is definitely on the increase, and I think I think anybody that's in the fraud world is going to have to get up on crypto you're going to have to learn what it means, is it difficult, yes, is that it's not anonymous I mean you want to say, like Oh, if you go to bitcoin, no one can know when we can figure it out it's not fast.
And it's not you know it doesn't have a name on the account or doesn't say chase bank account number 123 or Bank of America, but you can get there, you can get there.
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Kelly Paxton: I love getting caught up. We don't have favorite children I don't have favorite podcast guests, but what's know we have a favorite fraud and you mentioned one so, can you talk about your the number 11.
Yes, so this this firm had a controller had been there, like 25 years almost a point of startup.
Everybody loved her Okay, I mean I mean it's a typical scenario Kelly it there's there's nothing magical with it, so the CFO well, let me back up so where I was before I was this happened with a firm and they had finished the audit.
On it was clean transactions were just squeaky clean no questions No anything all of the the confirmations worked out bank receivables everything was cool.
Two weeks afterwards the CFO called and said to the audit partner we think we may have a fraud, we think that she's been you know messing with our American express account.
So the partner came down and got me. We got on the phone we started talking he goes yeah here's the kind of the scenario, and I said okay.
He said can y'all come out and take a look, and we started well long story short, when we got through she stole 11 different ways from that company.
So when she talked to the auditors they go could anybody still have y'all had a problem, she goes absolutely not everything has to have two levels of approval.
Now, if the CFO literally Kelly would have flipped the check over and looked at the American express there were only five or six people in that organization that had a card.
Okay, she never left her office, so what was it for and all he would have done it be like.
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Dan Ramey: Nice um she was remodeling a house and amazingly they were remodeling at the office, so there was always two sets of appliances, I mean this is just like stuff that people knew now here's the killer she also got I gotta be careful with this, because I don't want this out.
One of her children's vehicle and she literally got in it, it was going to be auctioned off. She got in it at five o'clock on Friday and drove it home now here's the issue Kelly, and this, this goes back to you know tips, what do you say hashtag tips fun fraud okay so.
Everybody wanted to buy that truck it's a long story so i'm not going to go into it, but everyone wanted to bid on that truck.
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Dan Ramey: The dream come true is, you have the excel spreadsheet with everything listed on it that may be, what she took maybe not maybe it wasn't there but.
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Dan Ramey: But now I have a whole presentation on on fruitcake and cupcake. They called her cupcake at Neiman Marcus because of how much they stole but it it's Their food is amazing there we every time we go to Dallas we stop there, and have lunch or get something but it's, it is an amazing story on how that happened it's you know small firm it's trust it's he gets along and but, but everyone knew like they knew that they were bringing in watches for him to look at and all of a sudden, he went from driving okay cars to like big time and.
If people know that why Why do people not raise their hand and go I'm concerned but, but people don't want to believe that.
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Dan Ramey: Right, so one of the ways I start off class is I said they all want to know what a fraudster looks like they're like yeah I go look right and look left look up front.
Okay, because I mean they do it, they all look like all of us, I mean i've never investigated anybody wearing a black hat, I mean it's just it's grandma it's aunt Sally it's uncle Bob whatever dad mom brother sister.
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Dan Ramey: Slogans that I've used, not a slogan I guess it's a quote, that I use in the erm class enterprise risk management class is business has never moved this fast before. Business will never move this slow again, and when you think about that so whether you're talking about accounting or economics or finance or operations or it or whatever.
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Dan Ramey: You know if you left $1,000 on your desk I would never take it, but I might take something that's not cash and so when you're disconnected even more and you're at home and you're not at the corporate office.
Things can't be watched you know people aren't there they may not see what's going on, then I think you just have another disconnect and there's some culture disconnect there's probably a lot of.
I hope you enjoyed Dan as much as I do. These podcasts are so hard to keep short because we could talk forever all things fraud. Be sure to reach out to Dan on LinkedIn. He provides great content regularly. He also is a regular attendee of Friday fraudster. The holidays are coming but I’ve got some great episodes lined up to keep you going. Thank you again for time in your ears. It means so much.