Fraud investigators are hiring as financial crime soars

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WASHINGTON, DC - Rising fraud figures revealed amid the receding tide of financial markets are causing a boom for financial crime investigators. Government bodies and private fraud specialists are creating more jobs to cope with industry demand.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) says there were 530 open corporate-fraud investigations for the fiscal year ending 2008. The number of open mortgage fraud investigations was more than 1,600, compared with only 881 investigations for 2006.

Law enforcement is hiring to meet the surge in frauds under scrutiny. The FBI said it was hiring 2,100 new staff in January in key areas such as accounting and internal audit, with experience of fraud investigations and foreign language work.

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners says the number of certified fraud examiners increased by 10% in 2008. The Texan-based trade body says the median salary for a full-time certified fraud examiner in 2008 also increased to more than $90,000 a year.

On March 11, Neil Barofsky, the FBI's special inspector general for the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program, announced a multi-agency fraud task force to scrutinise use of the government's Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility program launched on March 19 to provide credit to small businesses.

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