Bobby was joined by James Tracey the managing director of StubbsGazette. StubbsGazette is one of the oldest ever publications that was started in 1828. James Tracey bought this business in 2008. StubbsGazette claim to be the oldest fraud prevention and credit bureau in the world. Bobby met with James to discuss the companies success.
Financial crime, is that fraud? This was a question I was asked after I said my day job is a financial crime investigator. "Yes," I said with conviction and then added, "Well yes and no."
If only it was that simple.
More than 20 years ago, I joined a big accountancy firm. I was young, ambitious and full of wonder for what was to come. Memories from my initial years as a forensic accountant include the investigations that involved counting things: petty cash, pigs, designer handbags, scrap platinum, bags of animal feed and my favourite, gold bars. I can't remember the last time an investigation I worked on actually involved a stock take.
That is because fraud has, without doubt, evolved beyond the traditional theft and misappropriation. What has now emerged is the murky world of financial crime spreading and morphing at great speed, fuelled by technological advances and the ambition and creativity of unscrupulous - and often cruel - perpetrators.
You could be forgiven for thinking financial crime is just a "buzz word" or a "concept" and not representative of an actual crime taking place. You'd be wrong. Financial crime underpins organised crime which drives human trafficking, drug trafficking, kidnapping and terrorism to name a few.
There is no single definition of financial crime in Irish law. Money laundering, bribery and corruption, cybercrime, handling the proceeds of crime, financial markets abuse, and accounting and tax fraud are all considered financial crimes. The list is endless and constantly changing.
At one level, financial crime is simple. If you take money laundering as an example, the criminal is driven by the need to access a financial system to launder the proceeds of crime.
They will take the easiest route to do so, often using technology to improve the speed at which the transaction takes place or to increase the volume of illicit proceeds being laundered.
Every evolution in the financial economy presents new opportunities and techniques for them to exploit.
Rapid development of enabling technology, the internet, online banking and shopping, mobile and flexible payment channels and more recently, cryptocurrencies, have created potential new vehicles for criminals to abuse.
While there has been an acknowledgement in the past that financial crime primarily impacted financial services, today all organisations, no matter the industry, are exposed. Tightening regulation, growing customer demands for integrity, transparency and increasing criminal sophistication are creating the perfect storm.
So, what action is needed?
There is a strong call from customers, regulators, shareholders and society at large for business leaders and boards to seek out effective strategies to protect their organisations from from monetary and reputational loss.
The vast organisational complexity of global corporations increases the threat of financial crime simply by virtue of their size. The real issue is not that management is undertaking and hiding illicit activity, but that companies are not well equipped to collect, share, monitor, and analyse the data which provides the warning signs.
New technologies can help, yet investigation professionals may not know how to use, or may resist new technology. Expertise is also an issue. An organisation that hires data scientists to conduct fraud analysis may discover they can crunch numbers but lack critical knowledge to interpret the output.
Nevertheless, ongoing scrutiny and awareness is what is needed. Right now, our focus should be on using technology to reduce manual and duplicative processes, shifting valuable resources from repetitive review processes to areas requiring the judgment and decision-making capabilities unique to humans.
At Deloitte, we continue to fight the good fight for our clients. We are a team of accounting, compliance and tech specialists who ultimately have an innate sense of right and wrong. This drives our need to find a solution, even if the goal posts keep moving.
finally, a smile appeared on my face recently when I saw the results of a study by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners on fraud.
Traditional fraud still exists globally. In fact 89pc of the traditional frauds surveyed related to theft of assets. My stocktaking experience may come in handy yet. Bring on the gold bars.
A leading New York detective is coming to Dublin to take part in a fraud conference next month.
Dermot Shea, Chief of Detectives with the NYPD, will speak at the International Fraud Prevention Conference at the RDS on May 17.
Chief Shea, whose parents are Irish, is in charge of the NYPD's 6,000-strong Detective Bureau which investigates all major crimes in the city, including Wall Street investigations. His officers are also in charge of the sexual assault investigation into former movie producer Harvey Weinstein.
Conference organiser James Treacy said: "Dermot Shea is one of the most high-profile police officers on the globe. He will give his insights into investigating money laundering, corruption and fraud."
The conference, being opened by Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan, will focus on money laundering, insurance fraud and cyber crime.
Chief Shea will be joined by a list of expert speakers including former High Court President Nicholas Kearns, Barry Galvin, founder of the CAB, and international money laundering expert Deirdre Carwood, of Deloitte.
Interpol estimates the value of fraud for the year up to May 2018 was €3.7 trillion. Globally, the banks are losing $100bn a year as a result of fraud and fines for not adhering to anti-fraud and money laundering legislation.
Separately, $2 trillion is laundered each year by terrorist and criminal organisations with the estimate that just 1pc of this is intercepted by law enforcement.
So-called Romance fraud, where people using dating sites are hacked is, according to a recent CNN report, costing at least $143m a year.
The lack of preparedness among Irish firms for GDPR changes and the European Commission's anti-money laundering directives has led to widespread fines, James Treacy, managing director of Stubbs Gazette, has warned.
High-ranking officials from banks, insurance companies, and government agencies alike will converge on the RDS for the company's fraud and cyber crime conference on May 17.
Treacy said that the topic had become particularly relevant in recent times.
"With the introduction of GDPR and the new EU anti-money laundering directives it makes it a lot easier for organisations such as banks and government agencies to share information as long as they have a legitimate purpose," he said.
"However, almost all of the major banks in Ireland have been slapped with fines, not because they're aiding money laundering but rather that they haven't got their documentation in place and they're not seen to do their screening and their ID verification checks."
Treacy described fraud as the "last great unreduced business cost" and said that it was costing around €3.8 trillion annually.
He said that he expects around 500 people, predominantly chief executives and chief technology officers, to attend. "The theme is collaboration and it's not just focusing on one aspect of fraud. At the moment there seems to be a big emphasis on cyber crime but that's only one aspect of the whole fraud scenario," Treacy said.
Mary Aiken, a cyberpsychologist and adviser to Europol, former High Court president Nicholas Kearns and Ibec CEO Danny McCoy are among the speakers, while the Sunday Independent is a media partner.