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American Accounting Association

Fraud Association Founder Named
2001–2002 Accounting Innovator
of the Year

Joseph T. Wells Named AAA Innovator of the Year

AUSTIN, Texas - The American Accounting Association (AAA) announced today that Joseph T. Wells, CFE, CPA, of Austin, TX, is the 2001–2002 recipient of the prestigious Innovation in Accounting Education Award. The award is presented annually to the individual who has demonstrated exceptional achievement in the area of accounting education. A selection committee of appointed members of the AAA choose the recipient based on the innovation, educational benefits, and adaptability of their initiative by other educational institutions.

Wells is the founder and Chairman of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), the largest anti-fraud organization in the world. According to Doug Snowball, Ph.D., an accounting professor and chairman of the AAA's award nomination committee, Wells was selected for the award in recognition of his role in the development and implementation of a graduate-level course in fraud examination for accounting students, and for making fraud-related instructional materials available to educational institutions free of charge.

"As a fraud expert and CPA, Mr. Wells realized that the lack of basic anti-fraud education at the university level was simply not acceptable," said Snowball. "The American Accounting Association felt Mr. Wells deserved this award because he has led the charge to send accounting students into the workforce, 'armed', as it were, with the skills and education necessary to identify and fight fraud."

Wells will receive a commemorative plaque from the American Accounting Association and a check for $5,000 from accounting giant EY. In keeping with his higher education initiative, Wells announced his intention to donate the $5,000 to the ACFE's Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship Fund, which offers scholarships to undergraduate students in accounting and criminal justice majors.

"I am so honored to be selected for this unique award," Wells said from his office in Austin, TX. "I owe such a debt of gratitude to the people who contributed to my nomination and selection, and especially appreciate the assistance of the ACFE's Higher Education Committee, chaired by Dr. Tom Buckhoff, in helping to promote this initiative. I would also like to thank a host of volunteer instructors who have made our fraud examination course so popular, as well as Dr. Steve Albrecht, whom I humbly credit with teaching me how to teach."

The 3-hour course "Fraud Examination" was initially developed for and taught at the University of Texas but the curriculum has since been enthusiastically adopted by several major educational institutions around the country. A minor in Fraud Examination has also been developed by Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania which brings together fraud investigation classes from the schools of accounting, criminal justice, law, and sociology.


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