Aloha Termite owner Shawn Murray gave our luncheon attendees a rare public discussion from a victim of fraud. His former office manager, JoAnn Rodrigues, a longtime friend and his son’s godmother, stole close to $1 million over a three-year period. Murray nearly lost his company, filed for bankruptcy, reduced his staff and cut pay for remaining employees. Since then Murray’s wife has been in charge of the company books.
His continuing challenge is his desire to trust his employees, while acknowledging that there is a need for additional controls. Our members provided him with valuable advice about protecting his interests so as to better provide for his employees over the long term. In addition, he was reminded that controls exist to help his employees make the right decisions. Murray noted that he did not expect to have any takeaways from making this speech, but was excited about writing down some of the ideas he was given.
We were honored to have two guests at our previous luncheon: City & County of Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro, and Scott Spallina, Supervisor of the Elder Abuse Justice Unit. Attorney Kaneshiro noted some of the reasons the elderly are victimized:
- Many are homeowners
- They are often lonely
- They have predictable habits regarding paychecks and spending
- Are trusting
- Many are physically or mentally handicapped.
Perpetrators include not only contractors who target the elderly by not doing work they were paid to do, but also family members. For more information, check out this website: http://elderjusticehonolulu.com/
At our March luncheon, we welcomed IRS Special Agent Derek Tubania, who shared examples of cases he has worked on, including techniques used to discover and investigate fraud. He graduated from the University of Hawaii and has been an IRS Special Agent for 20 years. While he has focused mainly on income tax cases, he also shared his experiences in cases involving money laundering and structuring cases.
Our January luncheon featured Bill Kauppila, who talked about Fraud and Forensic Accounting. An adjunct professor at Chaminade University, he teaches Forensic Accounting & Fraud during the winter quarter (January to March). He spends the rest of the year in Seattle, Washington, where he teaches at Seattle Pacific University and maintains a personal consulting practice. He has been in the auditing profession since 1968.