Traveling Fraud Museum: Stand Against Fraud


Fraud examiners know that combating fraud takes continued diligence and vigilance. It can sometimes be emotionally draining as well since fraudsters may have built up trust with the victims over years. Although being in the anti-fraud field can be taxing, fraud examiners continue to stand against fraud because they know it is the right thing to do. Some of the artifacts, memorabilia, documents and other pieces of fraud history collected by ACFE founder and Chairman Dr. Joseph T. Wells, CFE, CPA, exhibit how pioneers in the anti-fraud field have stood against fraud through the years and can be seen in this year’s Traveling Fraud Museum at the 30th Annual ACFE Global Fraud Conference. 

The predecessor to the legendary Federal Bureau of Investigation was the Bureau of Investigation, created in 1908 by U.S. Attorney General Charles Bonaparte and consisting of 34 employees. In 1921, President Warren Harding appointed William J. Burns as director. One of Burns’ first duties was to hire a young Justice Department lawyer named J. Edgar Hoover. This can’t-miss piece, a wanted notice for W.A. Ashford, was issued in 1923 by Burns for mail fraud. It predates the instantly recognizable wanted posters that still adorn post office walls today.   

As many fraud examiners know, you can accomplish more as a team than as individuals. That was the idea behind the formation of Merchants Vigilance Association, founded by 25 New York City businessmen on January 1, 1846. You can see their charter in the museum, which describes their purpose “…to investigate and expose Abuses in Trade, to prevent Frauds and punish the Fraudulent…” This vigilante group prepared a “…black book, open to inspection of every member, on which they have already recorded the names of several hundred known swindlers; and are prepared to record others as fast as they are obtained.” 

These are just a couple of the many pieces highlighted from the Fraud Museum’s permanent home at ACFE Headquarters in Austin, Texas. Stop by the Fraud Museum panels on the fourth floor to see these and more. This year the quiz can be found in the Game Center of the Conference Mobile App (available June 10). Answer the four Fraud Museum quiz questions in your mobile app to be entered to win a $250 gift card. Good luck!