Detecting Corporate Fraud: Self-guided training

by February 26, 2014

This free workshop was originally held on Feb. 26, 2014, preceding the Investigative Reporters & Editors’ NICAR Conference in Baltimore. It later preceded the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) Spring Conference in Phoenix, March 27, 2014.

It finally preceded the Investigative Editors and Reporters Conference in San Francisco on June 25, 2014.

You can access all materials from both workshops in this self-guided training.

Learn techniques for digging – with an eye for fraud – into U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings and other disclosures. Instead of spending weeks scouring aimlessly through hundreds of pages of corporate documents, gain an understanding of what key financial information is available, where to look in the documents to quickly identify trouble spots and how to recognize when crucial details are missing.

Investigative reporters, Theo Francis of The Wall Street Journal and Roddy Boyd of the Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation, led this workshop on covering corporations with an eagle eye. Sam E. Antar, convicted felon and former CFO of Crazy Eddie, Inc., joined Boyd in June to lead a free workshop offered before IRE’s annual conference.


Examine fundamental methods for inspecting public filings for corporate fraud. This training will help reporters spot red flags in corporate disclosures and understand when to pursue a potential fraud investigation.


Theo Francis is an award-winning financial and investigative reporter for The Wall Street Journal, specializing in using regulatory documents to dig into corporate behavior. He has worked for BusinessWeek,, Bloomberg News, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and local papers in suburban New Jersey and Southeast Alaska.

Roddy Boyd

Roddy Boyd

Francis has also written for The New York Times’ DealBook, Quartz and NPR’s Planet Money blog, among other outlets.

Roddy Boyd is an investigative reporter and founder of the Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing document-driven investigative reporting on publicly traded companies.

His book about the near collapse of AIG, “Fatal Risk: A Cautionary Tale of AIG’s Corporate Suicide,” was long listed for 2011’s Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year. Boyd also edited The Financial Investigator blog.

Sam E. Antar

Sam E. Antar

Convicted felon Sam E. Antar is a former CPA and CFO of Crazy Eddie, Inc. During the 1980s, according to his website, he helped execute with the co-founders of Crazy Eddie, Inc., his cousin Eddie Antar and uncle Sam M. Antar, “one of the largest securities frauds of its time.”

Their actions cost investors hundreds of millions of dollars, and many people their life savings and jobs. Sam E. Antar served as the government’s key witness in both criminal and civil prosecutions. He has also acted as an independent whistleblower, teaches for professional organizations, business and universities.

Review the materials below to discover new ways to find investigative stories in SEC filings and corporate disclosures. For additional tips, check out Francis’ guide to key SEC documents.

Session recordings

PowerPoint presentation