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Communications are Essential as a Force Multiplier in Fraud Investigations

TASA ID: 8635

While most news broadcasts lead with headlines of violent crime and terrorist acts; white collar crimes, like scams and frauds present a serious problem. According to the FBI, white collar crime costs the United States over $300 billion a year. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, who published the 2016 “Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse” paint a far graver picture; estimating that the typical organization loses 5% of its revenues each year to fraud. Based on the 2015 Commerce Department estimates; the U.S. gross domestic product of $17.9 trillion, American businesses lost about $895 billion to fraud in 2016.

Displacement of Crime or Diffusion of Crime

TASA ID: 10544

In the concept of Crime Prevention through Environmental Design, also known as CPTED (pronounced SEP-Ted), created more than 60 years ago by Tim Crowe, I believe the purpose is to be proactive regarding crime issues. I was in a training program five years ago when someone in the audience asked, “On a street close to my campus, we have drug dealers and hookers. How do I get rid of them?” The lecturer couldn't answer the question, but I knew the answer. 

“Who Wrote That Email?”

Forensic Authorship Attribution and Stylometry

TASA ID: 3949

Some cases hinge on the authorship of a document.   Whether we want to know about the author of a defamatory email, the source of a ransom note, or the authenticity of a will, one of the most important pieces of evidence is the one that establishes who wrote it.    Historically, most documents were handwritten and handwriting experts (today they go by the title “forensic document examiners”) could determine who wrote something from the slant of an f or the height of a t.  Even with typewritten documents, they could notice a chipped or an out-of-line c and identify the specific typewriter that created the document.   Physical creation also produces physical variance.

Fire and Explosion: When Expertise Matters

TASA ID: 4701

A 14-year old was accused of endangerment by exploding an incendiary device.  An incendiary device is a bomb that is designed to start fires.  The teenager learned how to create this device while surfing the internet - the instructions told how to build THE WORKS BOMB by using aluminum foil, a commercial toilet cleaner, and an emptied soda bottle.

The teenager’s behavior was immature and potentially dangerous, but fortunately, it took place in a large open space with no one else in attendance; therefore, no one was injured.  However, the police were alerted and arrested the young perpetrator on the spot.

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