Students will raid amurder siteat West Virginia Universitys crime scene training complex Wednesday, June 25, hoping to find evidence of white-collar crime, but they may have to step over somebodies.
WVU students, who are enrolled in the College of Business and Economics Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigation Graduate Program, are being taught the techniques they will use in the expanding field of white-collar crime investigation.
The exercise begins at 1 p.m., and the students will be led by Franco Frandé, chief of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Financial Investigative Services Division.
The scenario: Someone has been foundmurderedin a house on the Evansdale Campus. The student team has been called to the crime scene because investigators observed financial records with names of suspects they recognized to be part of the student investigation.
Avoiding the blood splatterthats evidence for the murder investigatorsthe students will be looking for financial records to build a court case.
We are grateful to have an experienced leader of the ATF , Franco Frandé, working our students through this activity,said Richard Riley, associate professor of accounting.With Franco at the helm, the students will see how the ATF uses tools and techniques to catch organized crime members, drug traffickers and terrorist financiers. Its not just their illegal activities that convict bad guys, but also the ability to use books, records and other financial data to �€~follow the money.Students hoping to enter law enforcement will likely encounter similar situations in their future careers.
Frandé has served as chief of the ATF s Financial Investigative Services Division since 1998. He manages a nationwide staff of forensic accountants who conduct criminal financial investigations of complex white-collar crimes. Under his leadership, the agency has become recognized as a leading fraud-fighting arm of the U.S. government.
Forensics at WVU *
*College of Business and Economics
- The Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigation Graduate Program is designed to prepare entry-level accountants and others for forensic accounting and fraud investigative careers.
- The Forensic Science Initiative is putting a literal thumbprint on the profession with the help of WVU s Bureau of Business and Economic Research and College of Business and Economics. The initiative launched anefficiency investigationof the business of solving crimes in 2006.
- Max Houck, a former FBI forensic investigator who helped identify victims of Sept. 11 and the Branch Davidian standoff, is coordinating the efforts to look at the business of bringing bad guys to justice.
- The College of Business and Economics-based Center for Executive Education is also contributing to two high-profile projects to add to the mission:a collaboration with a national author for a textbook on business writing for the crime lab anda forensic management academy with an MBA -style program on the business side of sleuthing.
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
- Over 10 years ago, WVU became one of the first institutions in the country to incorporate fingerprinting into the curriculum.
- Training crime-solving professionals thoroughly and correctly under the best conditions possible was the modus operandi of the Forensic and Investigative Science Program that was set up in 1997, when it was born out of a partnership with the FBI . U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd secured the funding for the endeavor that capitalized on the close proximity of a major fingerprint processing center just 40 miles from Morgantown. WVU provides research and resources to forensic laboratories across the country and the world.
- Keith Morris, aforensic professional who formerly headed South Africas national crime lab system, leads the program.
- What started out with four students now has more than 500, and it is one of just 20 programsin the country to be fully accredited by the Forensic Science Educational Program Accreditation Commission.
- With 400-plus majors, WVU s Forensic and Investigative Science Program is one of the most popular disciplines on campus.
- WVU will launch a masters degree program in forensic and investigative sciences this fall, offering further training for crime scene investigators nationwide.
- WVU is also helping define the profession with several projects, including one to draft universal standards for productivity and performance in crime labs.
For recent stories on this topic, visithttp://wvutoday.wvu.edu/news/page/6873/andhttp://wvutoday.wvu.edu/news/page/6904/.