When I was leading the investigation into the highly publicized fraud at the American Cancer Society (ACS) our task was simply to determine many of the typical questions management asks with most fraud investigations…How much was stolen? How’d they do it? How did management miss it?
How long did it go on? And of course, who all was involved? While we investigated the possibility of multiple perpetrators, in the end the only bad guy was one of their officers. Daniel Wiant, 35, eventually admitted to bank fraud, money laundering, mail fraud and illegal use of a credit card in thefts that began in 1997. He was chief administrative officer for six years at the agency’s Ohio division, based in the suburb of Dublin. It was originally believed that he had stolen $8MM, but when we concluded our investigation, we increased that amount to nearly $13MM.
While I would not classify Mr. Wiant as your typical white-collar criminal this case caused me to develop a training session identifying the characteristics of what I have termed “the typical white-collar criminal” because Daniel exhibited many of those characteristics. Daniel is actually what we term as a “predator” white-collar criminal because he had previously committed many crimes, four of which he had been convicted of, all felonies, two of which he served time in prison. Which begs the question….”If that’s true why in heaven’s name did ACS hire him to begin with?”