Blog Post

Fraud and Sabotage: Can You Prevent It?

Published on

Mar 14

Mike Talbot

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This month’s Institute of Managerial Accountants presentation was “Revenge of the Cube Dweller: Corporate Sabotage and Fraud from the Inside.” This presentation highlighted techniques used by employees to embezzle, extort, and wreak revenge upon their employer and what companies can do about it. It is on the minds of many companies and organizations, as evidenced by one of our more popular blog posts about fraud and internal controls.

Our presenter, Joanne Phillips is the Director of Internal Audit for SemGroup Corporation, a midstream oil & gas company located in Tulsa Oklahoma. Prior to joining SemGroup in 2010, Joanne was Senior Director of Internal Audit for Dynegy, Inc., a wholesale power producer in Houston Texas. Additionally, Joanne was employed with El Paso Corporation and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

In 2014, Joanne published “Revenge of the Cube Dweller”, the first in a series of novels featuring an internal auditor. Joanne holds a BBA in Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin and is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Internal auditor, Certified Information systems Auditor and Certified Fraud Examiner.

Areas she covered in the presentation included the following topics:

Opportunities for Fraud in a Corporate Environment:

  1. Do you have password security policies?
  2. Who is listening in on your conference calls?
  3. Are your private conversations being secretly recorded?
  4. Can employees snoop after hours?
  5. Are there opportunities for eavesdropping?
  6. Dumpster diving by outsiders
  7. Dumpster diving by insiders

What can be done?

  • Limit access
  • Electronic segregation of duties
  • Generic IDs - get rid of them
  • Disabling access - terms, contractors and transfers
  • BYOD policies

Building security

  • Test on holidays
  • Who has access to offices?
  • Cameras - Do they work?
  • Control over key cards is access routine

Sensitive information

  • Is there a policy?
  • Clean desk policy?

For more information on educational opportunities and membership with the IMA please visit

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