Yesterday I had an opportunity to emcee an event focused on the prevention and detection of corporate fraud. The event was sponsored by Jefferson Wells International, The Business Journal of Greater Milwaukee, BDO Seidman, and Foley & Lardner.
Our fraud event drew a crowd of about 75 professionals from companies in the greater Milwaukee area. The keynote speaker was James Finch, the Special Agent in charge of the Milwaukee office of the FBI. On the one hand, I was surprised at how low “white collar crime” is on the FBI’s list of priorities. On the other hand, all resources are limited, so it is no wonder that the agency must prioritize.
The most interesting speaker (in my opinion) was Nancy Sennett of Foley & Lardner, speaking on SEC investigations. We got an overview of the process and a bit of general advice on how companies should cooperate with the investigation. It became clear to me that the best thing a company can do when they get that dreaded phone call from the SEC is to call a qualified lawyer. Qualified means lots of direct experience with this process.
Thanks to all the speakers and attendees for providing a thought-provoking afternoon!