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What Happened?


"What Happened Presentation: UB and Agency Accounts" Summary


  • Title: What Happened Presentation -- UB and Agency Accounts
  • Presenter: Kara Kearney-Saylor, Director of Internal Audit, University at Buffalo (UB)
  • Theme: Analysis of financial mismanagement and embezzlement at UB

The Scandal

  • Key Figure: Dennis Black, former Vice President at UB
  • Main Issue: Embezzlement of $320,000 from the university
  • Media Attention: Focus on UB's financial controls and state investigations

Breakdowns in Control

  • Inadequate Segregation of Duties: A critical factor in the scandal
  • Decentralized Billing and Accounts Receivables: Led to oversight challenges
  • Organizational Governance Issues: Especially within the Faculty Student Association (FSA)

Fraud Triangle and Prevention

  • Fraud Triangle Components: Explored as reasons for the fraud
  • Preventative Measures: Strategies for preventing similar issues in educational settings

COSO Framework Application

  • Control Environment: Emphasis on ethical values, capable governance, and accountability
  • Risk Assessment: Focus on cash safeguarding, contract compliance, and accurate employee payments

Monitoring and Ethics

  • Internal Audit Role: Continuous risk assessment in financial, regulatory, and operational areas
  • ERM (Enterprise Risk Management): As defined by COSO, for managing risks
  • Ethics Hotline: A tool for anonymous reporting


  • Wider Implications: Acknowledgment of fraud in government sectors
  • Overall Message: The importance of robust internal controls and ethical practices in preventing fraud