The recent publication of a report detailing the results of an investigation of Usana Health Sciences done by Barry Minkow, Fraud Discovery Institue, and other professionals has prompted some criticism.
One criticism I’ve seen is the fact that *gasp* the Fraud Discovery Institute is a for-profit corporation and there was a paying client in the Usana matter.
When did it become wrong to get paid for investigating fraud? You see, I investigate fraud. That’s my job. It’s how I make a living. I’m good at it. Because I’m good at it, people are willing to pay me money to do it. It is up to me to maintain objectivity in my investigations and reporting. Even when I have paying clients.
And yes, I have had investigations not turn out the way the client wanted them to. And I did not manipulate my results to please them. I reported the facts as they were.
All the fraud investigators I know get paid to do their work. They either receive a paycheck from their employer, or they have clients who pay them. But they are compensated just as any other professional who does a job. (Have you ever seen outrage at the fact that a doctor is paid to perform an operation? That a painter is paid to paint a house? That a secretary is paid to file documents? That a chef is paid to cook meals?)
Yet those who don’t like the results of the Usana investigation use the fact that there is a paying client to cast doubt upon the results. Let’s face it, people. Barry is a good fraud investigator. He has real world experience (unfortunately on the wrong side of the law) that makes him effective at what he does. Should he not get paid to do what he does well?
Of course he should. As should I. As should any other fraud investigator.