Center for Business Forensics Receives Grant from National Institute of Justice

The grant will assist Rider’s Cyber Crime and Forensic Institute as it implements training and enhances education in cybercrime investigations through seminars and research.
Saturday, January 1, 2011

Dr. William Amadio, director of Rider’s Center for Business Forensics, is pleased to announce that the University has received continued support of a $150,000 federal grant for its Cyber Crime and Forensic Institute. The Institute is a joint-venture with Drexel University and East Stroudsburg University, and is designed to educate federal, state and local law enforcement, and conduct cross disciplinary state-of-the-art research in cyber crime investigations and computer forensics.

The 18-month grant from the National Institute of Justice will assist the Institute as it implements training and enhance education in cybercrime investigations through seminars and case studies. The grant will also fund research, testing and tool development in advanced search technology for evidence gathering, cyber fraud data modeling, and digital steganography and watermarking.

As part of the grant’s educational component, Rider will offer several seminars in the spring geared toward state and local law enforcement officials, though the general public is also welcome to attend. Topics will include Fraud Detection and Prevention, Social Networking Sites and Fraud Investigation, Occupational Fraud and Money Laundering, Social Media and Law Enforcement, and Fraud Detection for the Internal Auditor. Seminar videos and materials will be made available online. Case studies written by Rider faculty will also be disseminated. Case studies include Dr. Maria Sanchez’s Forensic Accountants Nail Philadelphia’s Vincent Fumo; Sanchez and Dr. J. Drew Procaccino’s Preventing Identity Theft; and Dr. Donald Wygal and Dr. Larry Prober’s Performance Auditing Issues, Techniques and Procedures.

“Folks not in school need to know how to detect and prevent fraud through the various outlets available. For example, information on Facebook can very often be used by thieves,” Amadio explained. “A police officer who investigates a crime where a thief made contact with the victim online needs to be aware with how the technology works and what or what cannot happen in that medium in order to navigate that medium.”

In addition, the grant will fund several research projects conducted by the Cyber Crime and Forensic Institute. For example, Amadio, who invented the X-engine, and Dr. Christine Hofmeister of East Stroudsburg, will lead a research project in order to develop an interface that would enable the tool to become more user-friendly, especially for investigators. The X-engine is a topic-based information retrieval system, designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of evidence discovery.

Similarly, Dr. Arthur Taylor, associate professor of Computer Information Systems at Rider, and Dr. Mary DeVito of East Stroudsburg, will lead a research project involving the continued development and implementation of a data model and database for the collection and analysis of records seized from defendants and submitted by defrauded insurance companies. The developed tool will be provided to the New Jersey Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor and a similar one to Pennsylvania.

Dr. Jia Shen, assistant professor of Computer Information Systems at Rider, will use surveys to test a proposed integrated model of trust and acceptance of the social shopping site. The findings are expected to inform business managers, system designers, lawmakers, and law enforcement professionals on the potential risks users face in online shopping activities. This project is among the very first to systematically examine the role of trust in the emergence of social networking and e-commerce technologies.

In addition to supporting seminars and research, a significant amount of the funding will go toward student internships, Amadio explained. This year, the grant will support four students who hold internships with the government in the fields of accounting and computer information systems.

Rider faculty who are involved in the seminars and research funded by the grant include Dr. William Amadio; Dr. Lauren Eder, associate professor of Computer Information Systems; Dr. Evelyn McDowell, assistant professor of Accounting; Dr. Dorothy McMullen, associate professor of Accounting; Dr. Margaret O’Reilly-Allen, associate professor of Accounting; Dr. Larry M. Prober, associate professor Accounting; Dr. J. Drew Procaccino, associate professor of Computer Information Systems; Dr. Maria Sanchez, assistant professor of Accounting; Dr. Jia Shen, assistant professor of Computer Information Systems; Dr. Arthur Taylor, associate professor of Computer Information Systems; Dr. Donald Evans Wygal, associate professor of Accounting; Mr. Paul Zikmund, adjunct professor of Accounting.

For more information about the grant and upcoming seminars, please contact Dr. William Amadio at amadio@rider.edu.

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