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If It Sounds Too Good to Be True: A Look at Ponzi Schemes

January 19 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EST

Ethics CPE Webinar

Participants of the free live webinar will be eligible for 1 CPE credit.


Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty in 2009 to felony charges related to the largest fraud in history, a fraud characterized as a Ponzi scheme.Almost 90 years before, Charles Ponzi pleaded guilty in 1920 to mail fraud charges related to orchestrating a $20 million fraud – the first Ponzi scheme.

Simply put, a Ponzi scheme uses funds from new investors to pay returns – usually far in excess of similar investments – to prior investors.

Using actual frauds, this webcast will examine the elements of a Ponzi scheme, and use the fraud triangle to explain how perpetrators start and continue Ponzi schemes. We will also explore the red flags that accountants and financial professionals should recognize regarding investments “too good to be true.”


After attending this event you will be able to:

  • Use the fraud triangle model to identify risk of fraud.
  • Discuss the similarities and differences between Ponzi and Pyramid schemes.
  • Examine several actual Ponzi schemes and discuss the red flags that in retrospect should have warned potential and existing investors.
  • Explore how claw backs and disgorgement are used to obtain funds used to compensate fraud victims.


Tom Coghlan, Co-founder, CPE University, LLC

Thomas Coghlan, CMA is the co-founder of CPE University, LLC, (www.thecpeuniversity.com) a Philadelphia-based accounting and finance education firm that develops and facilitates training in ethics, product costing and variance analysis, financial statement analysis, performance management, analytics, budgeting and forecasting, and internal control. Tom is one of the top Certified Managerial Accountant (CMA) exam instructors in North America, having helped thousands of CMA candidates prepare for the exam since 2004.

Throughout his career, Tom has worked at the intersection of accounting and finance, education, technology, consulting, and decision making.

Jennifer Robbins, Webinar Manager, Illumeo

Jennifer is a marketing specialist and the webinar manager for Illumeo. She has been a part of more than 300 webinar presentations, supporting our expert presenters and Illumeo users alike. When she’s not moderating webinars, she’s creating and managing marketing content.

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