On October 25th, 2016, Zicklin Forensic Accounting Association was pleased to bring back a guest speaker, Michael Schulstad, whose presence always attracts a great number of students interested to hear about his fascinating career path. What makes Michael so intriguing is, among other things, his past employment with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), an experience he is always happy to talk about.
Attendees learned about the guest’s early career in public accounting from which Michael shifted to a more exciting, but also more dangerous, job as an FBI investigator. 25 years with the agency exposed him to numerous criminal cases, including Las Vegas casino fraud, investment portfolio fraud conducted by a trusted bank officer, conviction of attorneys involved in insurance fraud and undercover operation that led to an arrest of over 100 individuals. Before leaving law enforcement entirely, he worked for a few years as an Inspector General in Afghanistan and Washington DC, which exposed him to extreme cases of corruption, money laundering, theft and bank fraud. Upon becoming a civilian again, he joined WeiserMazars LLP, a prominent international accounting, audit, tax, and advisory service firm. Since the start of this year, Mr. Schulstad began working for MFR Consultants Inc, At the new organization, he’s involved in forensics as well as other engagements which are challenging, but give him opportunities to learn and build new skills.
Throughout the presentation, Michael involved students in solving the cases and was eager to answer any questions. For those who were interested in pursuing a similar career path, he pointed out the differences between law enforcement and civilian careers and emphasized how getting along with people, being willing to talk to them and listening carefully to what they say are crucial in investigations. As an educated and experienced professional, he advised students to get their Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licenses and encouraged them to become the Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) and Accredited Health Care Fraud Investigator (AHFI) certified in order to show their expertise in the field.
By Justyna Maj, edited by Maisie Gao