April 11, 2016  

IRS partners with Purdue on simulated criminal investigation

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University's Krannert School of Management is partnering Tuesday (April 12) with the Internal Revenue Service to stage a forensic accounting simulation.

Undergraduate accounting students will have five hours to role-play a criminal investigation. The exercise will take place 2-7 p.m. in multiple rooms at the Krannert Center for Executive Education, 425 W. State St. The class project will begin with a simulated arrest in the Hawkins parking garage with students assessing the staged scenario for clues to assist in the investigation.

About 30 students, accompanied by current IRS special agents, will solve real-world fraud cases dealing with identity theft and money laundering. Students will conduct interviews, review financial documents, perform surveillance, carry out undercover operations, and execute search and arrest warrants. The exercise demonstrates how to detect fraud and the investigation skills used by IRS criminal investigators every day in solving real financial crimes.

"The opportunity to investigate 'real' criminal activities and to resolve them in an interactive environment is invaluable," said Kimberly Fatten, accounting instructor. "This is a great learning tool for our students."

"We hope to expose students to the inner workings of a fraud investigation through the eyes of an IRS special agent," said James Robnett, special-agent-in-charge of the Chicago field office for IRS Criminal Investigation. "They will be able to use the knowledge they've gained in their accounting and criminal justice classes and apply it to a real-life situation."

Robnett will question the student investigators before authorizing their search warrants. About 15 IRS criminal investigators from the Chicago field office will serve as team coaches and actors. The exercise is known as Project Adrian. The IRS uses the simulation with accounting students for career exploration and a learning opportunity.   

Writer: John Hughey, 765-494-2432, hugheyj@purdue.edu

Source: Kimberly Fatten, kfatten@purdue.edu

Related website: More information about a career as an IRS Special Agent is available online at: http://jobs.irs.gov/car_lenforcement.html 

Video linkhttps://www.dropbox.com/home/IRS?preview=MVI_0686.MOV (Dropbox sign-in required)

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