UMD Certificate Program to Tackle White-Collar Crime

COLLEGE PARK, Md., June 12, 2017 — Bankers, regulators and working professionals from related industries will learn to detect fraud and stay on the right side of the law in a new 12-credit, four-course certificate program starting in fall 2017 at the University of Maryland.

Business and criminal justice faculty from the Center for the Study of Business Ethics, Regulation & Crime (C-BERC) will team up to present the Graduate Certificate of Professional Studies in Risk, Compliance, and Law. The center is a joint effort between the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and the Robert H. Smith School of Business.

“Corporations and large organizations are being audited and investigated by regulators at a heightened pace, and organizations that fail to create ethical and compliant environments are being subject to fines and regulatory sanctions,” says Smith School professor David Weber, a certified fraud examiner, attorney and registered private investigator who will lead courses on compliance and accounting.

Additional insights will come from white collar criminals, who will share cautionary tales from prison. “The program will include being exposed personally to criminal masterminds like Bernie Madoff, as well as being taught by some of the best minds in data analytics,” says Weber, the former chief investigator for the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Madoff, who is serving a 150-year sentence in North Carolina’s Butner Prison Camp, exchanges occasional emails with Weber and responds to student questions. The felon says most accountants and attorneys lack understanding of the banking industry, which limits their ability to monitor and regulate behavior. “Quite frankly they are ill equipped to perform their obligations,” he tells Weber.

If anything, the problem is getting worse. “The risks of fraud and compliance failures are increasing as technology and communication changes the very essence of the way business is conducted on a worldwide basis,” Weber says.

The new certificate program, designed for post-baccalaureate students, will help close the knowledge gap between criminals and regulators. Besides Weber, instructors will include Sally Simpson and David Maimon from the Criminology and Criminal Justice Department at UMD’s College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.

Courses will be taught online in 12-week terms, allowing students to complete the certificate requirements in one year. Some lectures will be synchronized in real time, allowing participants to interact with each other via the use of webcams and headsets with microphones. The program will also incorporate projects that will require participants to collaborate on teams, applying their skills to solve real-life business problems. Online lecture material will be video-archived for review.

“The program will allow students to tend to their jobs and families while learning deeply about the subjects of white-collar crime, compliance, accounting and data analysis,” Weber says.

The Center for the Study of Business Ethics, Regulation, and Crime (C-BERC) embraces an interdisciplinary approach to the legal and ethical challenges of modern business operations by integrating and extending research in the fields of business ethics, regulation, and criminology.

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is one of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park. The Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty masters, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community.

The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland, College Park, addresses many of the world’s great challenges. Departments and programs include African American Studies, Anthropology, Criminology & Criminal Justice, Economics, Geographical Sciences, Government & Politics, Hearing & Speech Sciences, Psychology and Sociology.

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CONTACT: Greg Muraski, 301-405-5283,


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SOURCE University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business

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