*****Fraud Investigations: A Textbook on How to Conduct White Collar Crime and Financial Fraud Investigations By Rory J. McMahon; published by R.J. McMahon & Associates, 800/211-5092 (phone), www.mcmahonpi.com (Web); 372 pages; $65.
Author Rory J. McMahon states that this book is a compilation of notes used as an outline in a fraud investigations section for a private investigator program at Career City College in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where McMahon was an instructor. He adds that Rene Champagne developed the first editions of this book and that McMahon expanded on those, resulting in this self-published effort.
The notes may be part of a valuable classroom experience, but they don’t do well in published form. The book lacks consistent structure and editorial rigor. As if still raw notes, prose and formatting style are inconsistent, which is distracting. A number of misspellings and grammatical errors also undercut the effort. In one case, in a chapter on insurance fraud, McMahon mentions the name of a person. An inexplicable three-inch blank space then appears where a brief description of the person might have been. McMahon also duplicates a chapter.
Despite its many flaws the book has some value. An extensive glossary, a section on ten basic rules of fraud investigation, and a detailed discussion of pyramid schemes are of use. A lot of relevant Florida law is explained as well. But investigators in the other 49 states are mostly out of luck.
In fraud investigations, planning and doing your homework are key. Given that, it’s inexcusable that a publication on fraud violates those very precepts. The book, which lacks citations, seems to be a hasty, off-the-cuff attempt to publish rough lecture notes.
Reviewer: Adrian A. Barnie, CPP, CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner), is manager of investigations for The Intelligence Group International, a division of Corporate Screening Services, Inc., in Cleveland, Ohio. He is a member of ASIS International.