How the Media Can Help Preach Fraud Awareness

While fraud examiners usually do most of their work behind the scenes to uncover fraud, they are often forced to turn over evidence and findings to organizations that keep the story of embezzlement under wraps. No company wants to freely admit that wrongdoing happened under their purview; however in order for people to understand the scope of fraud, some stories are best shared with the public. The onus to tell the story lands not on anti-fraud professionals, but another important piece in fraud awareness: the media.

This is exactly what happened with the insider trading that occurred in the Galleon Group starting in the 1990s before finally ending in 2011. Once U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced in 2009 that top executives of the Galleon Group had been arrested, investigative journalist Anita Raghavan began diving deeply into why and how the fraud began and, eventually, ended. With more than 18 years of reporting experience in the financial sector, she was able to research and construct a fully detailed story of what occurred to the head of the Galleon Group, Raj Rajaratnam, and his trusted information gatherer Roomy Khan. Raghavan took her findings and published a book, The Billionaire’s Apprentice, in 2013 while both Rajaratnam and Khan were serving jail time for insider trading.

Although the story of the Galleon Group might appear to be over to most, Raghavan has followed what Khan and other fallen Galleon executives have done in the wakes of their prosecutions. Since Khan's release from prison in 2014, Raghavan has met with her and tracked her transformation from connected executive to pariah. Khan now gives talks detailing her regret on participating in insider trading. Raghavan even covered the speech Khan gave at the 27th Annual ACFE Global Fraud Conference in her piece, “After Insider Trading Conviction, a New Life as a Speaker.

“A few years ago, it was difficult to imagine Ms. Khan ever rehabilitating herself. Even she doubted it,” wrote Raghavan. “But Ms. Khan may turn out to be the one cooperator in the Galleon case who succeeds in landing a second act in life.”

Publicizing and following a story of fraudsters, as Raghavan and other members of the media do, is an often overlooked part of fraud awareness. Anti-fraud professionals should view them as allies — the more the public knows fraud is occurring, the more seriously they will take fraud prevention.