Educator Edition — Free Tools For Teaching Accounting

FIND THE FRAUD—CRACK THE CASE

The news is filled with financially fraudulent fiascos and some of the most high-profile, high-stakes cases are handled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI has more than 2,000 accountants on its payroll. While some focus on more conventional finance and accounting functions, even more use their accounting know-how to investigate financial crime and help put bad guys behind bars. It’s a tough job, but fascinating. 

This activity will challenge your students to find and research a real fraud case that the FBI solved. Break them out into groups for this one and let them share what they learned with the entire class. Download the activity sheet and give each group a copy to guide them on their hunt for info. Make it an in-class assignment or a homework assignment. Either way, it’ll give them a chance to think about what the accountants involved may have had to consider when cracking the case. 

Here’s an example of the type of cases we’re thinking your students may want to research:

  • Former Dixon comptroller Rita Crundwell was convicted of committing one of the largest government embezzlements in U.S. history.
  • 2015 and 2016 findings of The Medicare Fraud Strike Force
  • Fake accounts created by Wells Fargo employees