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March 2021 Annual Ethics Training (4 Hours CPE)

  • March 09, 2021
  • 9:30 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Virtual Link provided by Audimation
  • 99


  • Members Seat - Only current active members of the Houston Chapter may register a members seat.
  • Registration for non-members.
  • You must be a student chapter member to register at this rate.

Registration is closed

Houston ACFE and Audimation are pleased to present a virtual training event - 4 Hours CPE

March Ethics Event - Four Presentations

Presentation 1: Commercialization and Conflicts: Designing organizational processes to guide ethical decision-making

Speaker: Jessica Tobias, JD, Ethics Director and Compliance Investigator for the Office of University Compliance and Integrity at The Ohio State University

Description:  Higher education institutions are increasingly engaging in commercialization activities. In order to translate research into usable technology and innovative products, universities must partner with various outside entities. These engagements can lead to potential conflicts of interest requiring difficult institutional decisions and complicated management plans. Drawing from current events and federal guidance, we will explore how to design organizational processes to guide employees in making ethical decisions about potential conflicts. We will also discuss how ethical decision-making processes can ultimately benefit an organization’s investigation program.

Jessica Tobias is the Ethics Director and Compliance Investigator for the Office of University Compliance and Integrity at The Ohio State University. She is an attorney and compliance professional experienced in investigations and conflicts of interest administration. Prior to joining Ohio State, she worked for the Ohio State Bar Association, where she assisted in the investigation of attorney and judicial misconduct for prosecution through the Ohio Supreme Court.  She served as Committee and Section Manager there and worked as staff counsel to the Joint Task Force to Review the Administration of Ohio’s Death Penalty.  While in law school, Jessica served as a Government Relations extern at the Supreme Court of Ohio. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University and Capital University Law School and she has taught Regulatory and Compliance Law at Capital University Law School.

  • Identify and design organizational processes to guide employees
  • Define commercialization activites in higher education
  • Identify potential conflicts of interest methods of avoiding conflicts of interest

Presentation 2:   Conflict of Interest: How the Ethics Office Empowers Ethical Choice-Making

Speakers:  M. Elizabeth Black, ChFC, CAMS, SPHR, Director, Ethics & Business Practices, Nationwide Insurance


Joshua Chase, LPEC, Consultant, Compliance & Ethics, Nationwide Insurance

Description:  Fostering an ethical culture should be a key initiative for businesses. At Nationwide, we expect all of our associates and leaders to contribute to our ethical culture. One way the Office of Ethics empowers associates to make ethical choices is by helping them identify potential conflicts of interest. We’ll look at a case study to understand situations that could create a conflict of interest and how those can be either avoided or mitigated. 

Elizabeth Black joined Nationwide Insurance's Office of Compliance and Ethics in 2016, and is currently the Director of the Office of Ethics. In that role,  she consults with associates and leaders on issues related to the Code of Conduct and oversees annual Conflict of Interest disclosure process. Previously, Elizabeth served as a Consultant on the Financial Crimes and Sanctions Compliance team. Elizabeth’s career at Nationwide also includes Human Resources, most of that time in the Office of Associate Relations, and the office of Nationwide Retirement Plans where she held a variety of roles spanning Operations, Client Services and Training.

Joshua Chase is in his 19th year with Nationwide.  He joined the Office of Ethics in 2010.  He administers the Ethics helpline program to assist leaders and associates to correctly interpret and apply the Nationwide Code of Conduct.  He also leads various projects, investigates conflicts of interest, and creates and delivers ethics training.  Prior to joining the Office of Ethics, he served as the Corporate Card Administrator for Nationwide’s Travel and Expense program, where he developed a close partnership with the Internal Investigations Unit to investigate corporate card fraud.  That working relationship ignited his interest in Corporate Compliance, which led him to his current role.  In his words, “The power of networking and establishing strong relationships pays dividends.  I landed in a job I love, and it’s a privilege to be a member of the Office of Ethics.”  Joshua also holds a FINRA Series 7 Securities License.

  • Identify mitigating conflicts of interests through corporate ethics training
  • Define conflict of interest in corporate settings
  • Identify opportunities for fostering an ethical culture in the business

Presentation 3: Grant Fraud:  Hundreds of Billions of Dollars of Hope and Hazard

Speaker: Ken Dieffenbach, CFE, US Dept of Justice

Description: Federal grant dollars touch virtually every aspect of society: the environment, infrastructure, job training, healthcare, and criminal justice, just to name a few.  However, these dollars have some unique (and some not so unique) fraud risks.  In this session we’ll discuss the current grant landscape (including pandemic recovery grants), typical fraud schemes, and case examples.  We’ll also discuss some emerging trends and how fraud examiners can help mitigate some of the risks.

Since 2003, Ken Dieffenbach has served as a special agent in U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General’s Fraud Detection Office and he is currently the special agent in charge of the 21-person unit.  From 2016 to the present, he has also served as the Deputy Director of the OIG’s Office of Data Analytics.  He has led and supervised dozens of complex and sensitive fraud and internal misconduct investigations and has made well over one hundred presentations about fraud to a wide variety of audiences.  He is an adjunct instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, coordinates DOJ’s Fraud Task Force’s Grant Fraud Working Group, and has had several articles published in various magazines and trade journals including Fraud magazine.    His work has been recognized with numerous awards including the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award.  In January 2020, he was elected as a Regent with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and in January 2021 he was elected as the Regent Chair.  Prior to joining the OIG, Ken served over six years as an active duty special agent with the United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations. He received his undergraduate degree in business and accounting from the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina and his graduate degree in criminal justice from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. 

  • Define grant opportunities that attract fraudsters
  • Identify mitigating techniques for fraud examiners
  • Identify current fraud schemes in grants, including pandemic recovery grants

Presentation 4: Ethics in Academia – Are Higher Educated People More Ethical? 

Speaker:  Debra S. “Debi” Fincher, MJur, MPA, CCEP, CFE

Description: Academic espionage and intellectual property theft are things one might read in spy novels.  But academic misconduct is not new.  Plagiarism in research, failing to disclose collaborations with foreign entities, and good ol’ bribery is still in the mix for those in both higher education and our public schools.

Debi is a Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional and Certified Fraud Examiner, and recently obtained her Master of Jurisprudence in Risk Management from the Texas A&M Law School.  She has over 25 years’ experience as a police officer.  She segued into compliance after working 12 years at the Texas A&M System Internal Audit Department as the Senior Investigative Auditor conducting fraud, waste, and abuse investigations.  She worked in public education, most recently as the Ethics & Compliance Office for Houston ISD, and now in higher education and research with Texas A&M AgriLife.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define academic misconduct
  • Identify occasions of failure to disclose collaborations and the effects thereof
  • Recognize occasions of bribery and plagiarism in academia


9:30 am - ACFE President remarks
9:35 am - Audimation introduction
9:40 am - 10:40 am - 1st speaker - Jessica Tobias, The Ohio State University
10:45 am - 11:45 am - 2nd speaker -M. Elizabeth Black and Joshua Chase, Nationwide Insurance
11:50 am - 12:50 pm 3rd Speaker Ken Diffenbech, US DOJ
12:55 pm - 1:55 pm - Debra Fincher, Texas A&M Agrilife

CPE Credits: 4 CPE Credits

3 hours - NASBA certified and ACFE certified for Behavioral Ethics - Non-Technical

1 hour - NASBA certified and ACFE certified for Specialized Knowledge


Event Policies:
  • If you have registered and/or paid for an event and you need to cancel, you MUST email events@houstonacfe.org no later than 5 days prior to the event to request a refund and/or cancel your registration.      
  • For more information regarding refund, complaint and/or program cancellation policies, please visit the Terms & Conditions section of the website, or email us at events@houstonacfe.org.     

Additional Information:

Delivery Method: Group Internet Based
Prerequisites: Not Applicable
Field of Study: Behavioral Ethics - Non-Technical (3) and Specialized Knowledge (1)
Who Should Attend:  Anti-fraud professionals, Auditors, Accountants, Attorneys, Investigators, Law Enforcement, Educators, Students
Advanced Preparation: None
Program Level: Basic

NASBA Sponsor No.  105047

Audimation Services, Inc. is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of the continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: nasbaregistry.org

Houston Area ACFE Chapter
PO Box 22853
Houston, Texas 77227-2853

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