White-Collar Crime

Former fraudsters and money launderers hit the lecture circuit; ex-lawyer earns up to $6K per speech

Crime can pay for ex-convicts who hit the lecture circuit to teach lawyers, accountants and others about their methods.

The Wall Street Journal’s Risk & Compliance Journal blog has a story on speaking engagements for ex-cons. Former Enron chief financial officer Andrew Fastow, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud in 2004, spoke to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners last year. Former KPMG partner Scott London, convicted of insider trading and awaiting the beginning of his prison sentence, spoke to accountants and compliance officers.

When booking ex-cons, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners will pay their expenses and contribute to a restitution fund. Despite the bar on direct payments to ex-cons, the speakers may still profit from the increased visibility.

Former lawyer Humberto Aguilar, who went to prison for money laundering, told Risk & Compliance Journal his speech to the ACFE was among about 100 appearances he has made. Though he didn’t get paid by the ACFE, “I spent almost an hour speaking to people and handing out my card and know that as a result I’m going to get some work,” Aguilar said. At other appearances, Aguilar often earns $5,000 to $6,000.

Aguilar earns money outside of his appearances as an expert witness and a consultant on how to prevent money laundering.

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