Long Island students will be IRS agents for a day

Business owners skimming funds from their company. A bar owner who keeps two sets of books. A multi-filer tax scheme. As special Internal Revenue Service agents for a day, students from Long Island University's Brooklyn Campus will see what it is like to solve white-collar crimes like these. Working with real IRS agents on pretend crime investigations, students will be introduced to forensic careers in accounting.

The drama begins when the IRS brings its Student Fraud Conference to Long Island University's Brooklyn Campus on Friday, October 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Avena Lounge.

"The mission is to expose students to the inner workings of a fraud investigation through the eyes of an IRS special agent. It's a way to present forensic career opportunities with interactive learning for students pursuing, or thinking of pursuing, an accounting degree," said Myrna L. Fischman, professor of accounting and chair of the department of accounting, taxation and law at Long Island University's Brooklyn Campus.

Experienced IRS agents will coach students as they track down and expose the simulated fraud.

"An investigation may start with an anonymous informant, a meeting with local law enforcement or a bag of garbage," said Joe Foy, IRS criminal investigation agent and an accounting alumnus of the Brooklyn Campus. "Students working in small groups select their next steps in gathering evidence, usually taking them to potential witnesses played by seasoned IRS special agents and other volunteers." Students can use the tools available to federal law enforcement officers, including undercover operations, surveillances, subpoenas, and search warrants. At the end of their scenarios, the students meet as a group to discuss their investigation, while receiving an evaluation from their coaches.

In addition, there will be games of chance - poker, blackjack and bingo, with a few "sharks" mingling with the students. The currency will be "LIU funny money."
 

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