Kirill started his career 17 years ago when he was a member of the team setting up the first Russian language full-text Internet archive/library. His area of work was to find ways for the fusion of various information sources, visualization of very large databases and other information intelligence tools. Somehow, it happened that most of his clients were fraud-related. So, his team started helping regional and State police and Tax authorities in complicated tax case investigations and this was Mr Tchashchin’s entry into the Anti-fraud field.
Kirill’s entry into the anti-fraud field is just by coincidence he has not undergone any training on anti-fraud topics. He finds himself to be very unfortunate for that and says –
“Unfortunately, when my career began, there was nothing like a structured antifraud education. I am a self-taught person. But watching the recent development of the various educational offerings, I slightly envy younger generation as they can get much more detailed knowledge from the education rather than from the fieldwork”.
According to Mr Tchashchin, sincere love for real challenges, curiosity to look for irregularities in non-traditional places, meticulousness while dealing with thousands of figures, persons and links and integrity are the important qualities of a forensic accountant. He also mentions that there is a risk factor involved in this career path as a forensic accountant, due to his investigations, might create number of enemies to himself. However, for a person with curious mindset, this is a challenging and rewarding occupation.
While talking about his work in Russia, Mr. Tchashchin states that unfortunately the Russian economy being reasonable non-public, balance sheet tampering is not considered as a serious crime/fraud. Most of the frauds happen in the upper echelons of the corporate management. Municipal contracts frauds are also widespread. Bribery is quite popular over there and the state efforts to reduce bribery are quite worthless. Even the public opinion towards Frauds is quite lenient. They routinely think that the anti-fraud efforts are worthless.
In Russia, the most important development of the recent years is the obligatorily posting of all state procurement tenders on the publicly available sites. This has resulted in the effective public scrutiny and has created the once-a-week high-profile public event related to some strange purchases by the government bodies. This really forces the government contractors to behave.
Mr. Tchashchin has worked upon lots of cases but if one asks him about the most significant and memorable case for him, he immediately remembers his participation in putting the former Russian Nuclear Minister E. Adamov in prison for fraud and money laundering charges. It took years to complete the prosecution of this case but still Kirill feels proud for the success.
One more memorable case is the recent one wherein his team broke the US $500 million fraudulent stock market acquisition deal. The fraudsters had spent tens of millions to create the fake image of the profitable, fair and open business but the amount needed to uncover the truth was much lesser.
Kirill has travelled a lot in order to interact with the members of the anti-fraud communities in different countries. He has talked to lots of fraud prevention professionals from Europe and US getting valuable advice from them which he has tried to adopt in himself.
He has also visited India and attended a conference by Indiaforensic. He was very much impressed by the efforts of Indiaforensic and said, “I was really very impressed by both speakers and participants. I was very much excited to find a dedicated community willing to share their experiences and help each other in their investigations. Also, as it was my first close encounter with the Indian forensic accounting community, I found the wealth of country-specific information which I could not have found anywhere else”.
When asked for a few words for the readers, Mr. Tchashchin says, “Greed being one of the basic sins of humanity, for centuries, one thing is for sure that the frauds will continue to happen and the anti-fraud efforts will always be needed. The profession puts more and more requirements on the continuing education of the antifraud community. Technologies keep on changing and even the fraudsters learn new technologies. So the people who want to catch them need to be one step ahead. The entities like Indiaforensic, therefore, play a very important role in the growth and development of the antifraud community and more and more people should get connected with them. More and more people should take benefit of the education and awareness they are spreading and enter this field. ”