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NIFA Talks With Former Federal Agent Stuart G. Berman During 2019 March Luncheon

The Northern Illinois Franchise Association (NIFA), co-founded by Jamie and Lauren Izaks and Andrew Bleiman, recently hosted its 2019 March Luncheon at LUXBAR in Chicago. The Luncheon allows NIFA to continue its work educating the Chicagoland community about the most pressing franchise-related topics of the day.

With nearly 50 guests in attendance, the March Luncheon featured Stuart G. Berman, CFE, CAMS, Director of Forensics & Valuation Services at BKD, who led a discussion focused on Preventing Employee Fraud, Theft and Embezzlement: Best Practices, Tips and Strategies. The event kicked off with words from event sponsors Patriot Software and BMO Harris Bank, who shared their ties to such a relevant topic in the franchising industry.

Berman began his presentation by discussing recent trends in workplace fraud and included interesting facts and statistics from the 2018 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse. Stuart explained several alarming reasons for committing fraud in the workplace, such as the thrill associated with getting away with the crime. Tenure is also a major trend in committing fraud, as Berman explained that the longer a person works somewhere, the bigger crime they are likely to commit if participating in fraud.

Guests were also very interested to learn more through the real life case studies that Berman presented, offering an interactive and thoughtful experience to learn more about employee fraud, embezzlement and how to mitigate risk. Considering the recent newsbreak of the college admissions cheating scandal, referred to as “Operation Varsity Blues,” this presentation came at a very relevant time beyond the workplace and franchising industry as well.

In addition to the discussion and the delicious meal of gourmet burgers and salad served, attendees enjoyed complimentary valet parking sponsored by All Points PR and Marks & Klein, as well as lively networking sessions before and after the presentation.

Stay tuned for details on the upcoming 2019 May NIFA Luncheon, and visit for more information about the organization.


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