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Faces of Fraud: Cases and Lessons from a Life Fighting Fraudsters by Martin T. Biegelman

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Chapter 4

Make Yourself Lucky

There is a saying that it is better to be lucky than good. But, I argue that it is even better to be lucky and good, and you can accomplish that with hard work and experience. Know your profession inside and out, and be a subject matter expert and thought leader in fraud detection, investigation, and prevention. Always be prepared and go the extra mile in all your work. Filmmaker Woody Allen once said that 80 percent of success is showing up. I do not believe that just showing up is quite enough to ensure success, but being present is incredibly important. What is meant by that quote, and its application to fraud investigations, is the importance of being in the right place at the right time.

Throughout my career, I always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. In one example, I walked into a homicide that had just occurred, but I didn't actually see it happen. I had just left the United States Attorney's Office in Brooklyn, New York, after a grand jury proceeding and was walking to my car. I saw a dead body behind my car and the shooter standing over the body. Although the shooter initially claimed self-defense, saying that the deceased had pulled a knife on him and another person, I quickly realized based on the evidence before me that he was lying. I took his gun, secured the crime scene, found the person who the deceased was supposedly threatening, found several witnesses who said the shooting was a cold-blooded killing, and turned ...

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