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News @ PSU

News and information from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

New fraud examination minor preps students to crack crime

For students fantasizing about a career like those featured in television crime dramas, a new minor at Pittsburg State University may be just the start.

Fraud examination has been added to the lineup of available minors for students in both accounting and justice studies. The new 21-hour minor, which combines courses in interviewing, crime scene analysis, white collar crime, and internal auditing, focuses on an area professors say both future law enforcement officers and accountants are interested in.

“If I could describe it in one word it would be ‘unique,’ because we’re blending these areas,” said David O’Bryan, a professor in the Department of Accounting. “It’s described as part accountant, part cop, part lawyer, and part criminologist. It brings interviewing and detective skills to the table that accountants normally wouldn’t have, and it can certainly teach a justice studies major how to follow the money trail.”

The minor was developed, O’Bryan said, due to the overwhelming interest in major corporate fraud cases such as WorldCom, Enron and Tyco. The minor prepares students to become certified with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

“We have grads working in law enforcement now, and they say the accounting courses have been one of the best things they’ve done because it provides a skill set that is key,” said Becky Casey, Department of Accounting interim chair. “Criminals are more sophisticated because of their approach in determining ways they can hide illegal activities.”

Dr. Roy Janisch, assistant professor in the justice studies program, says the collaboration between the two departments has filled a growing gap in law enforcement education.

“Our methods of investigating have changed over time, and this is a modern-day fit for what investigators are doing now,” he said. “Learning how to identify this type of crime is important.”

For more information on the fraud examination minor, go to
http://www.pittstate.edu/catalog/acctgminors.html or contact O’Bryan at 620-235-4566 or at obryan@pittstate.edu.

---Pitt State---