Great Women In Fraud

Episode 27 Mary Eastwood-Jones, CFE

April 06, 2021 Kelly Paxton, CFE Episode 27
Great Women In Fraud
Episode 27 Mary Eastwood-Jones, CFE
Show Notes Transcript

We are past the half-year mark for Great Women in Fraud. The guests are amazing and again I am honored to have another fraud fighter who breaks the typical mold.  I say that because of her creativity, her fondness for behavioral science, her empathy, and kindness.  Stopping an interview to help an elderly person down the stairs.  That act of kindness showed to the person Mary is a caring person and they gave her the information she needed. She did it not for that but knows truly being kind is so important.  I can’t give away all Mary’s gems because you just need to listen to her. And she caught her boss stealing which really got her into the fraud world.  Let’s get going across the pond.

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Kelly Paxton: Okay I'm always excited to have guests, but I'm super duper excited to have Mary Eastwood-Jones and there's a lot of reasons I am super duper excited first off I said her name sounds like she's an Olympic athlete but we met online at Karisse Hendrick F4 like we got to meet in person, and she told me about surfing, and I was immediately intrigued. And I'm just intrigued about everything about you, including your accent. So yes, Mary Eastwood Jones and she heads up Fraud and ethical misconduct investigations at Oxford University Press so Mary why don't you talk a little bit about your background.

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Mary E Jones: it's an absolute honor to be here Kelly, I was, I mean all of your podcast and I've been hooked on it, since November last year, when I heard Jackie Garrick on it and her whistleblower retaliation checklist which I really needed at the time, so it's absolutely awesome for me so as you probably gather my role in the field of fraud is managing speak up channels and promoting ethical culture, and also as a corporate investigator looking into the full range of misconduct so not just fraud but also corruption, sexual harassment exploitation abuse bullying victimization.  My background is I've worked in the humanitarian and development sector and also in charity retail so your kind of second-hand shops. In that sort of environment as well, and for the last four years I've been working into publishing sector, which looks at fraud in various different functions like sales and marketing editorial and procurement. And then before that my early career my first career for 11 years within social and behavioral research. And criminology and my specialism was on research on youth offending so young people who might get involved in risky activity and gangs and violent crime. I also did research into volume crimes like shoplifting antisocial behavior. And did some research into social inclusion of marginalized groups like refugees, asylum seekers minority groups like travelers Roma community.

And spend some time also attached to various police forces as a researcher doing kind of crime, analysis and also studying about Community police Community relationships so it's bit of a varied background.

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Kelly Paxton: Well, I love it because you know what I sit there and I listened to you talk about it and it's about the people in their culture and what they have to deal with what they think they have to deal with, and then studying it and you know fraud.

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Kelly Paxton: Is Joe Wells says fraud is not an accounting problem it's a social phenomenon so.

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Mary E Jones: This is just.

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Kelly Paxton: You have a very social background.

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Mary E Jones: Yes, completely agree with that.

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Kelly Paxton: And so, this is, this is a great question, I think, for you, because you work for a book publisher a global publisher if you were going to write a book what would it be about.

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Mary E Jones: gosh and I have so much respect for people who write books you included I love your book. And it was just seeing the process involved in my colleagues are working on a day in and day out, I have such a deep respect for all the work that is involved in creating and all the way from creating to actually printing. I think if I were to write a book I'd probably attempt to write something about people's stories how people speak up across different countries, different geographies languages, and different cultures really bringing to life, their stories.

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Kelly Paxton: Absolutely, because stories are what people remember they don't really remember the statistics, they just remember the stories so yeah absolutely i'm your hidden talent and I love this because I got the answers in advance, but tell the audience about your hidden talent.

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Mary E Jones: So I've been told, I have a talent for creative communications. So, for example, my Fraud awareness and counter fraud posters that I've been asked to do, are a little bit more on the vibrant side and on message to kind of help capture the attention of my colleagues, you know work tonight NGO and humanitarian sector, so all of that kind of blue picture of a target, you know the traditional hacker in the hoodie for cybercrime those images wouldn't work.

 So an example is when working for the NGO, we wanted to get out the message that we all have a role to play in being stewards of our resources.

And in safeguarding all of the donations against fraud and corruption, so we really wanted a way of kind of connecting. The people who donate money and these people couldn't be in order, near members of the public, they could be pensioners, giving up for their savings or.

People running a marathon to raise funds, and you know, there is this kind of perception well people in developing countries are going to say well you're rich anyway you're running a marathon so what you know it's  I know there are these perceptions out there, so we really wanted to wave trying to connect this and yeah and it was just a simple message is simple picture I took a picture of a child's age five. With a pound coin and a donation box literally stood in front of a fridge have a white background, with the simple wording a five-year-old school boy in the UK wants to help children in Syria and the slogan I got actually from the child, I said to the child well what would you say to the people like me who are there to kind of protect the funds from going. To make sure that they reach the intended beneficiaries and he said well just take care of this coin. And that was it I use that slogan take care of this coin, it was a simple message, and it really helped to make all those connections and you know that's the sort of thing we're doing and.

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Mary E Jones: More recently, we had I was talking to a colleague and he was explaining to me how he had avoided a bribe how he had rejected a bribe and you know, he told a person in a very charitable way how it wasn't within our values and how it was wrong and what it does.

 And, as he was speaking I said hold on hold on for a second do you mind if I just filmed this with my mobile phone.

 And because I think your example could really resonate with other colleagues and help them have that muscle memory to know what to do when they're putting that on the spot in that moment and that's what we did, and just a simple video like that it's the simple messages, especially when your resource strapped and you don't have a lot to invest in your comms those messages go a long way, I think.

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Kelly Paxton: Oh, I just yeah well, and this is another part of people who you know, listen to the podcast know, I have a fascination with behavioral science behavioral economics and I think you do to just based on this.

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Mary E Jones: yeah absolutely and I can't get enough of it.

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Mary E Jones: it's the people I think what being a fraud investigator is a lot about the people, of course, it's about the numbers and it's important to have the accounting knowledge, which is why I think you know getting gaining the CFE that's one of your pillars is accounting.

But I've often found that sometimes you have all of the evidence in front of you, but it's your people skills that will get you that it will that will get it, you know they'll actually get through those certain barriers, and I remember.

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Mary E Jones: just an example of once when we needed to get some evidence that somebody had done some illicit transfers and they weren't forthcoming with that and I was actually on the premises of this person. And I noticed, there was an elderly lady in the House, and she was going down the stairs struggling and I just interrupted our meeting I just ran to this person and helped her down the stairs.

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Mary E Jones: And it turned out to be the person speaking to it was his grandmother, and he said, you know I trust you hear you and it's those things that I think are really important.

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Mary E Jones: it's interpersonal connections.

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Kelly Paxton: I was just on an advisory meeting call and one of the things is as an investigator your strongest thing has to be empathy and understanding.

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Kelly Paxton: Yes, in you know, had you not done that I'm going to say you probably wouldn't have gotten the evidence.

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Kelly Paxton: A great yeah so pounding the table doesn't work but helping someone down the stairs and see having someone see that you do that, and that you obviously care that does work.

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Mary E Jones: yeah and it wasn't even it's not the tactic it's.

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Mary E Jones: It comes genuinely and naturally.

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Kelly Paxton: You can't train those moments like that you either. I kind of think you either have it, or you don't and I know we have you know male listeners out there and, but we have more women than men, and I think that's you.

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Kelly Paxton: know I don't like to go in the whole gender thing but women generally are caretakers and again, this is a generalization but you can't really train those moments like that you kind of either have them or you don't.

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Kelly Paxton: So yeah yeah which goes to what's the best compliment you have ever received.

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Mary E Jones: Oh, I think, just really hearing that in even in some small way that I helped to make a difference, particularly, you know as an ex youth worker so young person's life or to a survivor of abuse or an aspiring sister and fraud.

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Mary E Jones: And what really humbles me is the recognition from the people that were really ultimately here to serve so survivors victims whistleblowers and in my current job, teachers colleagues those active bystanders who are willing to speak up.

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Kelly Paxton: yeah absolutely and then COVID we were talking about COVID, how does it affect you Besides the fact you seem to be working way too much.

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Mary E Jones: yeah I think it's that thing where it's gives people this false sense that you're always available normally in. You know before the lockdown I was traveling quite a bit, and if you were in a certain country you would be you everyone would know you were there, focusing on a case, so they would know not to. That you weren't available, but now you're able to take on multiple matters across different time zones and different geographies simultaneously, and I think I just still haven't quite figured out how the ultimate superpower of by location I've just not mastered that yet.

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Kelly Paxton: yeah absolutely I haven't mastered it either, but the one you know they're terrible things about COVID, but there are some good things, the fact that. You know I started the podcast during cover to get the word out to a bigger audience than I could do in person, so.

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Kelly Paxton: what's your favorite word.

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Mary E Jones: proven or disproven.

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Mary E Jones: substantiate something.

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Kelly Paxton: Which goes to your family how they describe you.

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Mary E Jones: So I think my family described me as resourceful you know you can make something out of nothing you've gotten you know. You'll always make something out of you know I've always worked in quite a resource strapped setting so I'm having to just make think outside the box and do as much as I can.

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Kelly Paxton: Okay i'm gonna say you're younger than me, obviously, but if you still if you could turn back time to your 18-year-old self. What would you say?

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Mary E Jones: I would definitely say pick your battles. I've learned that the hard way don't I mean don't outgrow your ideals, but save your passion for those battles that are actually going to matter, the most. But I must say that I was a bit ahead of my age ahead of my years when I was 18 I started university when I was 16 and I had some responsibilities, I had family dependents to look after.

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Mary E Jones: So yeah I had a quite an interesting journey into counter fraud.

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Kelly Paxton: into surfing, and it said that originally he wanted to do, be an environmental lawyer.

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Kelly Paxton: Especially green ball by all do did you think you'd get to serve.

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Mary E Jones: yeah probably.

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Mary E Jones: yeah I was, I was studying law and environmental biology and I think it'll change, I had my first child well when I was still studying at university.

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Mary E Jones: I'm doing my masters and that just completely refocused my life and, at the time I was offered a really awesome opportunity to conduct research for the Ministry of Justice, as I said, into youth offending in deprived neighborhoods and I.

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Mary E Jones: Think, as I said, I've also been a volunteer youth worker for a number of years in different communities my accents kind of.

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Mary E Jones: UK and also slight twang I think you'll probably detect because I lived in Los Angeles as well, so I've lived in neighborhoods that were similar to the young people, we were serving so it was as it was a noble job and a good opportunity for me, so I got into that and really drawing on my criminal law studies, I embraced that, as my first career.

But then, after about 11 years I started volunteering a couple of days a week in the global international NGO, and I was working in their counter fraud and corruption team, it was two days a week, initially, and I just come from working on a national study on shoplifting and the behavior of shoplifter so I had a lot of experience talking to offenders and how they go about their shoplifting.

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Mary E Jones: And so, drawing on that experience, my first job was really in loss prevention in the second-hand shops.

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Mary E Jones: And I was really my manager just it was odd he just threw me into the deep end there wasn't much training he just said, look I need you to create counter-fraud response plans procedures set up the fraud case management system, I need you to set up the.

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Mary E Jones: Global whistleblowing lines and I thought wow Okay, you know, two days a week, volunteering I'll do it fine I started volunteering more days a week.

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Mary E Jones: and eventually he gave me a full-time job in the NGO as the global counter fraud coordinator, but.

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Mary E Jones: yeah that that's where the story kind of switches up, I was sort of interested in fraud but it's also kind of had my foot in there, and you know you get hooked there's always a time.

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Mary E Jones: I know you say this in your podcasts with many of your guests, is when did you get hooked on fraud and it and the story I think it's because my manager, who was quite odd on the surface, he appeared to be really nice competent person he also behaved quite erratically and was quite possessive.

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Mary E Jones: And I knew that all wasn't really right in the team I hadn't met my team members properly, I was kept quite separate from them.

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Mary E Jones: and, eventually, one of the administrators actually came over and reported that some of his expenses were questionable, and this was the.

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Mary E Jones: Then head of counter-fraud, we were in the fraud and corruption team, and he was the head, so you couldn't get somebody in a higher position of trust.

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Mary E Jones: Especially working for a charity, where you know that this is just inexcusable but we realized that he had embezzled funds, he had created fictitious companies, and this is, like many of the stories that you have in your book pink collar crime.

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Mary E Jones: and none of us recognized as invoices, for you know for covert cameras surveillance and other expenditure.

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Mary E Jones: So yeah it was we remember you know just looking at these expenses and just feeling and infuriated it was really embarrassing.

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Mary E Jones: to know that we were all professionals and I was working with ex-police ex-military police colleagues professionals in the field, but we were also busy.

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Mary E Jones: Working in NGO is all consuming we're also busy during our work, we hadn't seen this coming and it felt like somebody said to us, you know you have you got egg on your face now.

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Mary E Jones: You know, he was referred him to the City of London police who investigated the issue and he was sentenced to two years in prison, and that was really like the ultimate breach of trust, but that really ignited in me that.

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Mary E Jones: The real sense of I want to work in this field, now I want to study I studied towards the CFE qualification and towards the corporate investigator qualification so that's just that's how I got into it bit of a strange path.

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Kelly Paxton: You know what I didn't grow up thinking that I would be law enforcement or do any of this, but you do, you get kind of that fraud bug, and so I have to ask, so the guy, and this is public record Edward Mackenzie Green.

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Kelly Paxton: He had a serious addiction to prescription medication and stole almost 65,000 pounds, have you followed up and seeing what's happened to him at all.

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Mary E Jones: um I've seen some things and open source I don't know exactly I know that he lost everything which was quite sad actually and I think this is an aspect of.

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Mary E Jones: Fraud that you know you put up put quite well in your book is that it's sometimes the people who are nice probably seemingly appear nice I know he was erratic and you could tell he had some kind of drug problem, but you know you really wished him well and his family well and I think he lost everything his family as well.

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Kelly Paxton: I mean I don't think we as fraud examiners and fraud investigators can get out of bed every day if we think that everyone's out to rip us off. Or to do bad things and good people do bad things bad people do good things so again, it goes to being an investigator, and having.

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Mary E Jones: empathy yes.

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Kelly Paxton: So when you started out your career is there anything that you look back and you go God I wish I would have known that.

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Mary E Jones: I think it's mainly about self-care being really important and asking for resource is important, especially when you're working in the kind of social work humanitarian fields.

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Mary E Jones: Use see a lot you come across a lot of suffering and it's and this goes same for anyone working in these kind of settings even if you and you're not encounter fraud.

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Mary E Jones: Despite all your efforts, there will be times when you feel very overwhelmed by everything that's going on and in investigations, as you know, we tend to be made of tough stuff.

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Mary E Jones: we're tough cookies, but I think we all need to keep our mental and physical health and check and I think the pandemic has really brought that out the importance of mental well-being.

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Kelly Paxton: Well yeah and that's part of the reason I started Great Women in Fraud is being able to ask for resources for sources just.

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Kelly Paxton: And to listen, because you know I can talk to my friends that have, as I say, regular jobs and they don't quite understand it, but when you talk to colleagues, they do understand it.

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Kelly Paxton: So that's where Great Women in Fraud came from is to help each other out and yeah so you're in self-care is so incredibly important my sister is very I called her woo-woo

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Kelly Paxton: You know lives out in La and very woo and I used to make fun of her when she would do some self-care stuff because I thought gee you know it's like, how can you afford this well now I've gotten, to the point you can't not afford to do some of these things because long term, they really pay off mentally and physically.

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Mary E Jones: Yes, totally agree yeah.

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Kelly Paxton: So going into the surf and having a nice.

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Kelly Paxton: it's incredibly rewarding replenishing all of that, and these jobs, you need it, I you know I run I well I jog but, like you need to have that time to recharge.

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Mary E Jones: yeah you can't bring your phone out in the surf.

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Kelly Paxton: yeah absolutely I do bring that phone when I run.

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Kelly Paxton: I do not it's only for podcasts, it is only for podcast when I run to help my phone with me so um what sort of advice would you give someone who is starting out in a career, similar to what we have.

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Mary E Jones: yeah I think really don't underestimate the importance of transferable skill sets, and I think people shouldn't write off people with transferable skill sets.

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Mary E Jones: You know, as I said, as a researcher I developed interview data gathering skills and that discipline that can be transferred to investigations, and I think.

If you are given an opening any opening whatever task you're asked to do just roll up your sleeves and get stuck in on learning on the job don't see any of those tasks as too small, too insignificant, not exciting enough so if you're asked to label exhibits as I was initially.

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Mary E Jones: Or to match up receipts with expense lines on small expense frauds just do it all with super enthusiasm and careful attention to detail and.

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Mary E Jones: I think, continue to ask for a progressively more responsible roles don't let people gaslight you professionally and say that you know you haven't got what it takes and just be insatiably curious as all investigators are.

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Mary E Jones: about fraud, especially, and I think you need to think ambitiously about what you can bring to the sector, where a kind of new and burgeoning sector and.

 Really network network network I think network is super important because I've always found that our global fraud fighting community is very supportive.

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Mary E Jones: And we'll share and support and helping you be out.

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Kelly Paxton: Absolutely absolutely and you know, when you say that, like matching up the receipt receipts with the expense lines so many fraud cases are you know discovered kind of by accident or a tip and a lot of times the fraudsters get lazy they've done it.

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Kelly Paxton: All and they just get a little I'm not going to say lazy I'm going to say sloppy. So sometimes and actually this goes to what I've been watching on TV it was Netflix the investigator there's this new young homicide detective and she just.  You know she goes I'm just going to go back through it, I, and I know spoiler alerts here, but she was like I'm going to go back through it, because I think I've missed something, and you know again no spoilers G it yeah so sometimes it is something just so teeny but it breaks it.

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Mary E Jones: yeah and I found that I found that asking dumb questions.

 And sometimes playing the role that people think I'm dumb anyway yeah so asking the dumb questions, and I remember once there was a case that.

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Mary E Jones: Where it would where people were trying to kind of really explain things to me around you know you don't understand how.

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Mary E Jones: This accounting works this banking system works and you need to understand and just really focus on the areas district distracting me and showing me the areas that they wanted to show me.

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Mary E Jones: and making it sound really complex when actually that evening I just went through the documentation and I saw.

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Mary E Jones: That the you know they had some Internet banking statements that had been downloaded from the Internet and I noticed that the bank had stamped them and I thought, why would the bank need to stamp downloaded bank statements that you've downloaded off your computer so somebody really wants to go out of their way to certify these documents, so I took me to the Bank and the Bank said, none of these, these don't match up with the actual statement, so they were manipulated and you know it's that sort of thing that people trying to pull the wool over your eyes and it's that yes, the answers are really simple. Beyond get sloppy or they get over where we eat are paranoid and start doing silly things like that stamping statements.

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Kelly Paxton: Oh yeah Sam Antar of the credit of Crazy Eddie fame who, if you don't follow them on Twitter, he is great. And he said they get you know the Auditors to come and they would just distract them, and you know and they distract them with you know fake inventory, but then also like talking over them and when you're a young auditor it's like you don't want to look like you don't know something so when someone starts talking over you I think that's a little bit of a red flag.

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Mary E Jones: Yes, I agree yeah.

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Kelly Paxton: Absolutely, so what are some of the resources that you think it really helped you in your career.

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Mary E Jones: Oh so many so obviously the a CFE fantastic resources and the CFE credential and ensuring that you keep up that your CPE credits is super important.

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Mary E Jones: The Association of Corporate Investigators, which was recently formed and they're extremely useful being among like minded people and they have some excellent webinars.Fraud women's network in the UK we've just celebrated 14 years on international women's day in the UK we've got the fraud advisory panel. 

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Mary E Jones: SIP for you mentioned Karisse Hendrix F4 I thought that was fantastic and, of course, your podcasts and your pink collar crime book.

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Mary E Jones: Fantastic resources, and I also follow a lot of our counterparts in the security sector info security sector from for some great resources and open source intelligence so OSINT curious.

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Mary E Jones: Also ethical hackers I love the work that they do so Jenny Radcliffe.

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Mary E Jones: The people hacker she's fantastic and Rachel tailback they're all great women in info security.

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Mary E Jones: Look at all their resources and in whistleblowing there's I mean I could go on and on.

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Mary E Jones: And whistleblowers there's that protects charity institute Institute of business ethics there's whistleblowers you at UK and US so their resources are very useful.

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Kelly Paxton: there's so much out there and again, one of my hashtags is sharing is caring.

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Kelly Paxton: You know, we need to share these resources, I was on this like I said advisory call and one of the things was about ethical systems, out of NYU and how much good stuff that they put out for free.

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Kelly Paxton: And just yeah being able, and the person on the call was like I didn't even know about that, so there are so many good things out there and the Internet makes it even easier.

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Mary E Jones: You introduced me to ethical systems. Yeah you introduced me to them they're fantastic.

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Mary E Jones: Yes, absolutely.


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Kelly Paxton: I want to get Allison Taylor on she's kind of a big REACH, but I'm going to try I'm truly going to try.

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Kelly Paxton: And you must yeah and she started as an investigator.

00:27:34.770 --> 00:27:55.110

Kelly Paxton: yeah she started as an investigator, I believe, for minutes I'm not 100% sure, but it's a little bit of a big REACH, but I'm I am going to try it because, and I just if we don't understand the psychology and sociology and the Community it's really hard to understand fraud, I think.

00:27:55.680 --> 00:28:10.380

Kelly Paxton: and understanding how good people make bad choices, and I think ethical systems, they just put out a ton of great content and I will put a link to them in the show notes for sure too so I'm glad you liked it and I do like it, yes um.

00:28:11.460 --> 00:28:15.180

Kelly Paxton: Who has influenced you most in your career.

00:28:16.620 --> 00:28:26.430

Mary E Jones: Well, my biggest influence was my late father, he had a very varied career so well before I was born, he was in the Royal Air Force.

And then he worked in intelligence at gc HQ is later life, he developed agricultural cooperatives around the world, so really varied career.

00:28:37.080 --> 00:28:45.960

Mary E Jones: He was writing books, he spoke 11 languages fluently and I really mean that fluently and very difficult languages, and you know, he was writing in Arabic.

00:28:47.220 --> 00:28:53.190

Mary E Jones: All sorts of languages and he loves also raising seven kids so he was a really hard act to follow.

00:28:54.570 --> 00:29:00.690

Mary E Jones: But I think really there are, it takes a village or a counter-fraud community to raise a fraud-fighting movie so. Really, I learned a lot on the job, and I have to credit my former colleagues and Phil Done, who is an Anti-corruption specialist he really helped to train me and investigations and security covert security.

00:29:12.750 --> 00:29:26.940

Mary E Jones: And Hannah Claire and safeguarding they really inspired me and taught me a lot on the job, and of course my current colleagues my manager my former manager and TEAM members at Oxford University press you know you learn a lot on the job with your colleagues and.

00:29:28.050 --> 00:29:36.540

Mary E Jones: I'm, particularly my team Member Joe who is our investigations analyst and she joined online remotely. After working for the police and moving to the corporate sector and it's inspiring to see her journey, because she moved seamlessly across into made this transition to corporate investigation, so I think she's incorrect it's encouraging to see that, with the law enforcement background.

00:29:58.170 --> 00:30:02.010

Kelly Paxton: yeah absolutely not everyone transitions easily to the private sector so that you're going to have to forward hurt share this episode with her for sure so for that, because it's not it's not easy, sometimes so um what's a common myth that you yourself wanted deep bump.

00:30:22.770 --> 00:30:38.040

Mary E Jones: That people often say Oh well, you know you should be working so hard that you'll do yourself, out of a job and that's you know we all know, that's not true, fraud is is here to stay it's only limited by the human imagination, as soon as you found out a way of mitigating against a certain fraud or fighting a certain fraud they're gonna somebody's gonna work out how to come into the next one, so it's yeah I don't think you'll ever do yourself, out of a job, really.

00:30:50.130 --> 00:31:04.920

Kelly Paxton: yeah well and then going to the next point is, you are just I'm gonna say a content consumer and you're a lifelong learner and, but do you have any areas going forward that you're really curious about.

00:31:05.610 --> 00:31:06.240

Mary E Jones: So many since that I've just I just love and captivated by all sorts of different fields.

So I think I'm really curious about cyber enabled fraud and especially seeing the spike in that during the pandemic.

00:31:23.100 --> 00:31:36.120

Mary E Jones: I am an avid learner Open Source intelligence I'm not very good, but I'm regularly trying to learn hints and tips and it's just absolutely essential knowledge for the fraud investigator of today.

00:31:36.900 --> 00:31:44.910

Mary E Jones: I'm also really curious about missing people cases. It's a little obsession I listened to the podcast of locate international just you know just always think.

00:31:45.540 --> 00:31:55.800

Mary E Jones: We have to crack these people have gone missing for too long, and the victims are holding out on it I'd be that would be another in another life that would be a different career.

00:31:57.240 --> 00:32:03.420

Kelly Paxton: which goes to what other sort of job field, would you be and I was fascinated by this.

00:32:04.890 --> 00:32:12.330

Mary E Jones: um so I liked music a lot, when I was a kid I was before the times we had all these will have the Internet.

00:32:12.810 --> 00:32:25.950

Mary E Jones: I was one of those kids who did those reviews if music local bands and I would do their DEMO you know review their demos and put these what we called fanzines which I don't think kids today know what they are.

00:32:27.600 --> 00:32:31.620

Mary E Jones: So yeah I'd love to manage artists and just get into music.

00:32:32.220 --> 00:32:38.460

Kelly Paxton: Well, and you know I mean you could do this because, how many artists, have you seen that have been ripped off.

00:32:39.750 --> 00:32:41.490

Mary E Jones: Many yes absolutely.

00:32:42.090 --> 00:32:50.130

Kelly Paxton: So I still you know I you know Oxford University better keep you, but I think you could easily get a job, hopefully.

00:32:51.870 --> 00:32:54.180

Kelly Paxton: Because they seem to get ripped off quite often.

00:32:56.820 --> 00:33:02.190

Kelly Paxton: So um when you started out what were some challenges that you had.

00:33:03.240 --> 00:33:13.320

Mary E Jones: So I think like they talked a little bit about the manager, who was was a fraudster and I just kind of didn't quite realize how much he was asking me to do so quickly.

00:33:13.860 --> 00:33:22.290

Mary E Jones: And I did also come across and we talk, I think there are a lot of talks about this in, especially in the female fraud fighter groups about professional gaslighting.

00:33:23.580 --> 00:33:33.270

Mary E Jones: And I think women talk a lot about the imposter syndrome, but sometimes it's just a case of people treating you like an imposter when you're not and they can you try to believe that you are.

00:33:33.810 --> 00:33:40.470

Mary E Jones: you're doing the work, but you don't get the recognition, because you know, especially if you're somebody who doesn't like to blow your own trumpet.

00:33:41.490 --> 00:33:53.370

Mary E Jones: And ultimately, I think I've got to where I've got sued by doing the work by being the person that has done the work and earning trust by building reputation for integrity and really just telling it like it is and.

00:33:54.000 --> 00:34:00.420

Mary E Jones: For me, earning the CFE credential was a confirmation that I knew my stuff I know what I was talking about.

00:34:01.620 --> 00:34:10.020

Kelly Paxton: yeah absolutely I get so many people that are like what should I do to get started and i'm like get the CFE, and not only get the CFE, but I find or I found when I was studying for a long time ago I love the material like I love the material and you know accounting was probably. I'm not gonna say the harder part but, but the sociology part in the law part and did you love the material because I tell everyone I'm like it's fascinating even if you never do anything with it it's fascinating.

00:34:33.540 --> 00:34:38.040

Mary E Jones: Yes, absolutely and I think the fraud investigation was my favorite modules.

00:34:38.490 --> 00:34:39.660

Mary E Jones: yeah my favorite element.


00:34:43.050 --> 00:34:45.990

Kelly Paxton: So who's someone you looked up to in the field.


00:34:47.280 --> 00:34:58.170

Mary E Jones: There right so many veterans I mean you're a veteran there's so many veterans in this field, great women in fraud, you know or people you've had on your podcast I mentioned Jackie Garrick because I think she's amazing.

00:34:59.820 --> 00:35:08.640

Mary E Jones: In the UK there's the former commander Karen Baxter, who is the National Coordinator for economic crime and I've had the pleasure of meeting her a couple of times and.

00:35:09.240 --> 00:35:16.140

Mary E Jones: I've read the book The Sarawak report by Claire Newcastle Brown and she exposed the one MTV scandal.

00:35:16.710 --> 00:35:28.980

Mary E Jones: While she was and I like this because it's going to parallel with environment, she was researching deforestation In Borneo, and it just like the way she persevered against international kleptocrats and.

00:35:30.150 --> 00:35:33.030

Mary E Jones: made it impossible to continue to ignore the issue Malaysia.

00:35:34.380 --> 00:35:37.260

Kelly Paxton: Absolutely now this invention.


00:35:39.450 --> 00:35:56.160

Mary E Jones: Sorry, I think you mentioned on one of your podcasts the wolf of Wall Street yeah that movie and she kind of was instrumental in exposing that you know some of the funds that movie that the red Granite at, so I think you know that that's another connection there.

00:35:57.360 --> 00:36:07.140

Kelly Paxton: Well yeah yeah no I don't like to say, money is the root of all evil, but most crime is committed for money, except crimes of violence.

You know crimes of passion, but the bulk of crime there's the money angle, for it yeah so this question I asked it often is how long did it take you to see success and you wrote, I still haven't got there well I'm gonna say phooey on that so.

00:36:28.440 --> 00:36:41.790

Mary E Jones: I don't yeah I don't think I've got there, I mean, and I think, on a personal note, I think, successful be when I have sussed out a good work-life balance and I've actually made a proper difference.

00:36:42.780 --> 00:36:43.980

Mary E Jones: I just don't think I'm there yet.

00:36:45.030 --> 00:36:54.240

Kelly Paxton: Okay, I am the good work-life balance, I would agree with because you're doing this very late at night when I would be in bed, but as far as success you've made huge you've done a ton of things a ton of things and I love how your career has just kind of organically grown to where it's been.

00:37:08.160 --> 00:37:20.550

Kelly Paxton: So I consider you to be a very big success so absolutely um any other questions do you have anything coming up in getting a real job.

00:37:22.080 --> 00:37:34.290

Mary E Jones: yeah um well, people often say to me well what possible what could you what kind of investigator, are you, you know you know, in the police, so what kind of things do you guys get up to, and you know in corporates you know it's not a real job.

00:37:34.770 --> 00:37:46.170

Mary E Jones: And I think that that it's not so well known, but awareness is growing, you know I mentioned the Association of Corporate Investigators kind of trying to bring more awareness around it and if you're in the UK.

00:37:47.130 --> 00:37:59.490

Mary E Jones: The Government launched a counter fraud profession in 20 in October and 2018 and it's like the CFE it basically makes sure that counter fraud specialists are recognized profession.

00:38:00.090 --> 00:38:13.680

Mary E Jones: in its own right, just like lawyers accountants and auditors and it really helps to it just provides that professional structure with professional standards and competencies for people who are working in our fields.

00:38:15.240 --> 00:38:16.830

Mary E Jones: I think we are becoming a proper job.

00:38:18.450 --> 00:38:29.790

Kelly Paxton: I do think we are a proper job too yeah um so some of the things that people struggle with in the field that you've seen firsthand What would you say most of those are.

00:38:31.050 --> 00:38:41.160

Mary E Jones: And I think being under resourced is one you know just really having to keep on chipping away at making the business case for resource and demonstrating.

00:38:41.850 --> 00:38:57.030

Mary E Jones: The value of prevention, some of the other big things are finding a way of measuring fraud losses, I know that the University of Portsmouth has done some fantastic studies on that, but how, how do you measure fraud losses.

00:38:58.230 --> 00:39:11.040

Mary E Jones: accurately I don't think well it's a difficult one and also, I think, just a just another type of struggle is seeing wrong disciplinary actions being taken following your investigation, I know that's a frustration for many.

00:39:12.210 --> 00:39:21.570

Kelly Paxton: yeah So when I just wrote this down so much of the time investigations is seen as a cost Center and.

00:39:22.440 --> 00:39:36.240

Kelly Paxton: I think that's a wrong attitude to have the just like they see compliance as a cost Center when I mean I will tell you that it one job I had I brought in, I brought back into the company 10 times my salary.

00:39:36.990 --> 00:39:55.170

Kelly Paxton: Doing investigations, so I would love it to move, I mean I don't want it to see it is a you know revenue generator but I don't like the idea of it being as oh it's just a cost Center so you know we can just take away 10% when yeah it's not a cost Center.

00:39:57.000 --> 00:40:05.580

Mary E Jones: Now it's your support functions that really hold you up especially we've seen that in the pandemic where would we be without it as a support function.

00:40:06.840 --> 00:40:14.580

Mary E Jones: Where would we be without you know as the money that you would be saving on investigation, especially when you do them in house is considerable.

00:40:15.480 --> 00:40:31.680

Kelly Paxton: Oh it's huge it's huge and then the other part, you said, the sort of wrong disciplinary decisions which yeah that that could be hard and we've seen it in the ACFE that the lower level employees are treated I'm gonna say it differently, meaning worse than the higher level employees.

00:40:32.640 --> 00:40:42.210

Mary E Jones: yeah and I think it's it's this thing about and that's really rails me I think it's important to have a consistent sanctions framework in any organization.

00:40:42.570 --> 00:40:54.780

Mary E Jones: Because one of the pillars, I think of a good counter fraud strategy is organizational Justice have a sense that employees fail loyalty to their company, because the way they perceive that decisions are made fairly.

00:40:56.430 --> 00:41:00.210

Kelly Paxton: yeah yeah and tone at the top, and all of that so because.

00:41:01.710 --> 00:41:07.200

Kelly Paxton: We teach our kids the fair only comes once a year, but when people see that the fair doesn't even come.

00:41:07.950 --> 00:41:10.590

Kelly Paxton: Yes, it's harder, it is harder.

00:41:11.640 --> 00:41:20.850

Kelly Paxton: um So what are you most excited about now starting, for I mean we're practically end the first quarter of 2021.

00:41:22.680 --> 00:41:29.190

Mary E Jones: And so, with colleagues and working on some new ways of conducting deep dive fraud vulnerability exercises.

00:41:29.790 --> 00:41:42.330

Mary E Jones: And it's really looking at it's okay to look at you know it's I think it's quite standard in fraud risk assessments to look at your control environment and what sort of controls, you have, but I think there's an element that isn't as.

00:41:43.440 --> 00:41:53.550

Mary E Jones: explored, I guess, is how do the people who are responsible for implementing those controls do they know what to look out for and what's their level of awareness and so.

00:41:54.180 --> 00:42:04.710

Mary E Jones: i'm trying to put them into kind of a red team tester situational awareness scenario with live case studies and interactive case studies, I think that's an interesting that that's what i'm excited about the moment.

00:42:06.330 --> 00:42:16.950

Kelly Paxton: awesome totally awesome sounds way above my pay grade um is there anything that I forgot to ask you that you want to get out to the world of great women and fraud.

00:42:18.270 --> 00:42:24.720

Mary E Jones: And just that I think just keep on rocking everyone, and everyone in fraud and that.

00:42:25.980 --> 00:42:43.170

Mary E Jones: Always network, and there are so many networks out there it's a very supportive community in fraud so yeah I really think that's, the main one, and also, I was like the ABC of fraud that assume nothing believe nobody check everything that's one of my mottos.

00:42:47.070 --> 00:42:51.150

Kelly Paxton: And then, what was the last thing you googled right before you got on this.

00:42:51.600 --> 00:43:01.560

Mary E Jones: So I went on a site everybody like called oC curious, and there was a video there, I was looking for a video and how to use images for geolocation.

00:43:02.520 --> 00:43:14.550

Kelly Paxton: yeah they're awesome I hope to have someone from the organization to be on I love following them on Twitter and that's another thing is like Twitter is I think amazing for sources.

00:43:14.820 --> 00:43:19.980

Kelly Paxton: Here so many generous people out there, do you start stop me pages.

00:43:21.630 --> 00:43:22.470

Mary E Jones: No, I don't.

00:43:22.800 --> 00:43:24.720

Kelly Paxton: Oh I'm going to send you some page.

00:43:25.200 --> 00:43:25.890

Mary E Jones: Please OK.

00:43:26.430 --> 00:43:32.190

Kelly Paxton: I will definitely send you some of those and then um what's the last class you took.

00:43:33.480 --> 00:43:46.320

Mary E Jones: um I was looking at it was an informal investigative journalists classes, how they get sources so again, it was just looking through different websites that investigative journalists use.

00:43:47.010 --> 00:43:49.890

Mary E Jones: ooh okay there, there are sisters in fraud as well.

00:43:50.790 --> 00:43:53.220

Mary E Jones: Oh fantastic work yeah.


00:43:53.280 --> 00:44:00.150

Kelly Paxton: Absolutely, and you know what's awesome about investigative journalists is they know how to write reports, really, really well.

00:44:02.070 --> 00:44:18.210

Kelly Paxton: Definitely know how to write reports, really, really well well Mary I am so I'm just honored that you wanted to be on the podcast you are a total rock star surfing rock Star and I see a continued amazing career for you.

00:44:19.080 --> 00:44:26.700

Mary E Jones: Thanks so much Kelly and I'm really honored to be here, and please keep up the good work, and I will be listening to future podcasts as well.

00:44:27.270 --> 00:44:29.010

Mary E Jones: Oh, I encourage everyone to do that.

00:44:30.690 --> 00:44:31.530

Kelly Paxton: Thank you.

Isn’t Mary just fantastic?  Her career path is so inspiring and serendipitous in my opinion.  From her work with juveniles to NGO fraud to catching her boss.  This interview could have gone on and on.  I look forward to meeting Mary in person.  Her energy and enthusiasm is contagious.  That is what this community is all about.  Creating energy, enthusiasm and support for everyone.  We are all about sharing is caring.  We are past the half-year mark and there is no slowing down because of all of you.  The reviews, shout-outs and conversations are motivating.  Thank you for all of your time.  It is an absolute pleasure to be able to do this. You make it possible.