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FBI expects more public fraud cases.

U.S. FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (FBI) DIRECtor Robert Mueller recently called public company corruption the bureau's top criminal priority, as corporate fraud cases have increased by more than 80 percent in the past five years. Speaking at the American Bar Association (ABA) Litigation Section Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., Mueller cited the billions of dollars lost due to public corruption and fraud. He said more than I,800 FBI agents currently are working on nearly I7,000 white collar cases, ranging from public corruption and financial fraud to health-care and mortagage fraud.

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These investigations, Mueller told the ABA, illustrate the need for corporate boards, auditors, and outside counsel to ensure transparency and minimize conflicts of interest. He said the recent U.S. mortgage crisis has resulted in bureau investingations into more than I,300 individual mortgage fraud matters and I9 corporate fraud cases. "We likely will see more corporate fraud cases in the monts to come, because of the ripple effect of the subprime crisis and its impact on the credit market," he added.

Mueller said it is better for companies to self-report and remedy any wrongdoing before the FBI launches an investigation. That's an approach the FBI has begun to take in its own operations, which have suffered from corruption problems due to inadequate internal controls, he acknowledged. The FBI recently created the Office of Integrity and Compliance to ensure bureauwide compliance and oversight. The new office has established policies on compliance standards, training, communications, and risk assessments for the FBI. It also monitors the implementation of these policies in all divisions of the bureau, ensures necessary audits are performed, and presents an annual report to key stakeholders. Moreover, Justice Department attorneys now examine all aspects of the FBI's national security program for compliance with laws, regulations, and guidelines.
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Title Annotation:UPDATE
Author:Clemmons, D.
Publication:Internal Auditor
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2008
Words:304
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