When the 50,000 members of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners received their January/February issue of Fraud Magazine, they came face-to-face with Timothy Pearson, WVU professor of accounting.

An interview with Dr. Pearson, “Fighting Fraud with Research,” is the publication’s featured article, and his rather stern countenance graces the magazine’s front cover. In the question-and-answer article, Pearson, also director of the Division of Accounting and executive director of the Institute for Fraud Prevention, contends that not enough research is being conducted on fraud.

“Despite the tremendous impact fraud and corruption have on our economy, there is little research available on the costs of fraud, how it occurs and why,” he said. “Similarly, there is no repository for gathering, storing and disseminating fraud-related research findings and descriptive statistics.”

WVU is featured in another article called, “CPA Firm Offers Advice to Anti-fraud Students and Faculty.” In that piece, Dr. Richard Hurley, chair of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners committee on higher education and an associate professor at the University of Connecticut, asks, “Have we done all we could do to prepare our students to meet the challenges of a successful career in fraud examination?” Hurley interviews Jaimee Villane, a graduate of WVU’s Forensic Accounting and Fraud investigation graduate program. She works at Sobel & Company, LLC, a firm in New Jersey that has a strong forensic accounting and fraud examination emphasis.

Hurley said he was not surprised that Villane was a WVU graduate.

“West Virginia University has been the lead university in fraud education at the national level,” he said. “Tim Pearson and (WVU Accounting Professor) Dick Riley have been leaders in designing a national curriculum for all university and college faculty to adopt.

“I also knew that WVU had a four-course certificate program in the fraud investigation and fraud examination area. Dick Riley has often told me of students being drilled by practicing attorneys who review student fraud reports. WVU is indeed a comprehensive program, and its students are better prepared for the ‘real world’ environment.”

Riley, the Louis F. Tanner Distinguished Professor of Public Accounting, said Pearson has been nurturing the young Institute for Fraud Prevention at a critical time in its existence.

“He has made great strides in setting the research agenda, soliciting practicing members and generating excitement. In the long-term, research results that can be incorporated into and refined by practicing professionals is important to the success of the profession. The article in Fraud Magazine reflects the profession’s recognition of Tim’s hard work and early successes as the Institute’s executive director.”

For Pearson, being on the magazine’s cover means a better professional environment for the college’s graduates.

“Our alumni and students should be pleased with the additional value this exposure gives to their accounting and FAFI education,” he said. “Our students benefit from the increased exposure to new employers and opportunities. Also, our faculty have embraced the need for anti-fraud and forensic accounting research, and we are doing very interesting projects.”



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CONTACT: Tim Pearson
tpearson @ wvu.edu