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Massena chamber co-hosts seminar on fraud, embezzlement

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MASSENA - Assisting business owners recognize possible fraud and embezzlement in their company will be the subject of a seminar co-hosted by the Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce and Dragon Benware CPAs, PC., from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Massena Community Center.

“Every day or every other day in the paper there are cases of fraud and embezzlement of north country businesses. There are certain things to watch for to make people aware of what is going on,” chamber Executive Director Michael J. Gleason said.

He said embezzlement and fraud can happen to anyone at anytime. Organizations work hard to be successful and should be able to benefit fully from that hard work, he said, noting that having assets stolen from an organization is more likely than one would think, but prevention and detection can minimize this likelihood.

It’s something that pops up regularly and needed to be addressed, Mr. Gleason said.

“The headlines kind of dictated it. It’s relevant,” he said.

He said they were contacted by representatives from Dragon Benware CPAs, PC, about holding the Fraud and Embezzlement - Prevention and Detection seminar.

“This came up because of the tax season. They gave us a call. They’re doing them now. They wanted to get it done before the tax season really kicked into high gear because all of their CPAs are going to be busy,” Mr. Gleason said.

The seminar is being presented by Douglas Hoffman of Dragon Benware CPAs, PC. Mr. Hoffman has an extensive background and has been working with small family-owned businesses and high net worth individuals with their estate, tax, business and personal planning for more than 35 years.

It’s targeted toward business owners, non-profit executive directors or responsible government members who have delegated most financial tasks to other people within their organizations. It could also apply to service clubs because of revenue-generating efforts that involve cash, such as bell jars.

“He’ll talk about some of the things they’ve seen going on the last few years. That’s why it’s for owners and directors and not for actual bookkeepers or accounting staff. Especially with small organizations, it’s tough to have a lot of internal controls,” Mr. Gleason said.

Pre-registration is required by contacting the Massena Chamber at 769-3525 by noon Wednesday. The registration fee is $10 for members of the Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce and $20 for non-members. Refreshments will be served.

Chamber President Susan E. Stiles said the seminar is one of the benefits of chamber membership.

“Hosting this seminar is just one example of how the Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce is working to help local businesses,” she said. “We look forward to offering more seminars/workshops in the future and ask that if anyone has suggestions on topics, to please send an email to chamber@massenachamber.com.”

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