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Accountant turns assassin

Member: Nifa

While this might appear to be a somewhat far-fetched title it refers to a new Ben Affleck film which many a forensic accountant is hoping will glamorise the profession.

In this instance, the accountant in question is a ‘mild-mannered, socially weird government accountant who moonlights as a highly trained assassin’. Described as an action thriller, the film will enter the murky world of crime, where fortunes both on celluloid and in the real world are artfully concealed beneath legal facades and only trained accountants can find out where their origins really lie.

The phrase “knowing where the bodies are buried” can equally apply to figures. Think of all the thrillers involving white-collar crime ever written and the crooks are always trying to lay a complex, false trail in offshore tax havens or through supposedly legitimate businesses. However,  forensic accountants are experts at following financial trails no matter how complex and it stands to reason that the criminals don’t want them to succeed.

Of course, if an accountant turns bad and lays the trail then the ‘good guys’ will find it harder to follow. Think of Meyer Lansky, known as the ‘mob’s accountant’, who was instrumental in the development of the National Crime Syndicate in the US. Despite developing a gambling empire owned by both the Jewish and Italian mafias that spanned the globe, he was never found guilty of anything more serious than illegal gambling. He died in 1983 at the ripe old age of 80, leaving almost no assets on paper, although the FBI believed he left behind over $300m in hidden bank accounts, which were never found.

Author: Roger Isaacs, 21 August 2015

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