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Bradley Whitsell, chief accountant of SDN Communications in Sioux Falls, SD, pleaded guilty to mail fraud on Monday, August 22.  According to the U.S. Attorney’s office 46-year-old Whitsell used his various oversight positions to embezzle more than $392,000 over a 10 year period beginning in 2000. Whitsell could end up in prison for up to 20 years. Whitsell has agreed to pay back the $392,111.65 and will also pay for the $84,000 cost of the audit that uncovered his theft.


1.  According to the article, what specific problems with internal controls allowed Whitsell to commit this fraud?  Also, discuss the fraud triangle as it pertains to the case in your answer.

2. Look up the most recent 2010 Report to the Nation at the Association of Fraud Examiners website.  Was the length of Mr. Whitsell’s fraud longer, shorter or about the same of the average fraud in terms of months before getting caught?  Explain.

3.  Compared to the average fraud committed by a man this age, as reported in the 2010 Report to the nation, did Mr. Whitsell steal more, less, or about the same amount of money? How does this compare to the average amount stolen by a women of the same age?  What is typically the key difference between these amounts?


Gonzalez, A. (2011). Embezzling Accountant Will Pay Back Stolen Money and Pay for Audit That Caught Him. Going Concern, August 23 (Retrievable online at )