In 2009, the FBI established investigative forensic support positions to address escalating cases of white collar crimes, or crimes dealing with a variety of fraudulent and illegal financial activities, including political corruption, industrial espionage and narcotics trafficking.
Forensic accounting specialists working for the FBI are also needed to conduct complex analyses of business and personal records associated with suspected terrorists capable of funding large terrorist groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda. In fact, the fundamental job of a forensic accountant working for the FBI can be summed up in one phrase: “follow the money”. FBI accountants also testify in court proceedings, stay up-to-date with changing rules and policies, and participate in grand jury procedures and protocols of national security. Tracking convoluted, illegal money trails can also lead FBI forensic accountants into diverse areas of organized crime, drug cartels, foreign Internet hacking and global terrorist groups.
Additional Tasks Performed by FBI Forensic Accountants
• Investigate accounts of fraud executed by public and private employees (typically involves larger amounts exceeding $10,000).
• Investigate money laundering, securities fraud, corporate/federal bankruptcy fraud and suspicious paper trails left behind by criminals.
• Perform surveys and audits on inconsistent and/or irregular financial activities involving government and corporate bookkeeping records.
• Prepare case reports that include pertinent documentation, precise statistical analysis, and all other items considered to be valid evidence supporting the case.
• Develop financial profiles of groups or individuals suspected of illegal activity which often leads to initiating search warrants and affidavits associated with the results of these profiles.
• Investigate scam emails/wire fraud perpetrated on individuals who send large amounts of money to people pretending to be someone else and getting nothing in return.
• Meet with prosecuting attorneys for the FBI to discuss litigation strategies concerning cases being presented to grand juries or cases that are already going to trial.
• Travel all over the world to gain information about cases that originate in foreign countries.
Forensic Accountant Training
Forensic accountants seeking careers with the FBI are required to earn at least one of four qualifying certifications:
• Certified Public Accountant
• Certified in Financial Forensics
• Certified Fraud Examiner
• Certified Internal Auditor.
A bachelor’s or master’s degree in forensic accounting is also helpful. In addition, FBI forensic accountants must undergo a rigorous six-week training course sponsored by the FBI that prepares them for their work.
FBI Forensic Accountant–An Exciting and Rewarding Career
An FBI forensic accountant leads an intriguing, fascinating life as a full-fledged FBI agent who gets to experience the thrill of finding, chasing and catching the bad guys. When criminals or terrorists discover that a forensic accountant for the FBI is investigating their financial wrongdoings, they will inevitably “up their game” and engage in further deviously complex actions that makes the job of an FBI forensic accountant even more provocative and riveting. Without forensic accountants solving complex financial puzzles involving twisting “paper trails”, the Federal Bureau of Investigation might not be able to prosecute the majority of their criminal cases.