Log in

  • Home
  • May Ethics Seminar

May Ethics Seminar

  • May 18, 2020
  • 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM (CST)
  • Online


  • Discounted registration for members of the Austin Chapter
  • This type of registration is only available for students who are current members of the Austin Chapter of the ACFE.

 fraud, lies, and hermes ties

speaker: aaron beam
reTired & former CFO of HealthSouth

2-Hours of Ethics Credit
FREE to Austin ACFE Members
Presented Online

 Program Description:

Aaron Beam’s message is straightforward: “My downfall was that I did not have the courage to do the right thing.”  He also includes a warning of how external pressures and executives who set the “tone at the top” can engender fraud. He describes the years-long accounting fraud that began when he was the first CFO at HealthSouth and the firm’s rise to become one of the largest health care companies in the US.  There is an explanation of how the fraud started and the role of Sarbanes-Oxley in exposing it.  Perspectives are provided on why large corporate frauds such as those at Enron, Worldcom and HealthSouth occur as well as insights into the damage these frauds cause to our economy and many stakeholders. Mr. Beam also discusses how companies and individuals can build ethical strength and prevent these disasters from recurring. Other topics include: professionalism & diligence in performance of duties; integrity; and compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. Counts as Ethics CPE for ACFE.


Aaron Beam was a founder and the first CFO of HealthSouth, headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama.  The firm was founded in 1984, went public in 1986 and by 1996 was a “Fortune 500” company. In 1996 the company clearly began committing accounting fraud. Aaron Beam was at the center of the fraud.  In 1997 he left the company. In 2003 when the continuing fraud was exposed, he turned himself in to the FBI. He was sent to federal prison for his crime. In 2009 he began his public speaking career and has given more than 600 speeches to universities, civic groups, professional associations, and other organizations.

While he does not consider himself a motivational speaker, he does hope his story will help people achieve a higher level of ethical activity.  His message is always one of remorse for his part in the HealthSouth fraud as well as a warning about how external pressures can cause unethical behavior.  Beam was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, graduated from LSU in 1968, and served in the Navy in Vietnam in 1969-70.  Today he is a practicing Catholic and feels blessed that he and Phyllis will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in June 2020.

Learning objectives:

    After attending this sessions, participants will be able to:

    • Describe the ethical culture at HealthSouth and their accounting practices (and non-compliance with legal & regulatory requirements)
    • Explain how HealthSouth’s “tone at the top” facilitated criminal behavior
    •  Identify the many stakeholders who were harmed by ethical failure at HealthSouth
    • Describe procedures that can help decrease the incidence of financial fraud

    Program Level: Basic

    Prerequisites: None

    Advanced Preparation: None required


    This presentation will take place online. Information will be forwarded to you after registration.

    Registration Prices
    This presentation is free for Austin ACFE members.

    The Austin Area Chapter of The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners is a non-profit organization formed in the State of Texas and registered as a 501 (C) (6) Organization with the IRS.

    The Austin Area Chapter of The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:

    Cancellation Policy and No Shows

    If you have registered and/or paid for an event and you need to cancel, you MUST email no later than 5 days prior to the event, unless otherwise indicated in specific event policies, to request a refund and/or cancel your registration. The Chapter must confirm event registrations with the venue within 5 days of the event and any changes after this time period can become a financial cost to the Chapter. Cancellations received less than 5 days prior to events will not be refunded except for exigent circumstances.

    In the event an attendee does not show up to the event, the registration cost will be forfeited. If payment at the door was the selected method, then the attendee will be billed for the full cost of the event. The Chapter reserves the right to bar for future registration any attendees who routinely register and fail to pay and/or attend the event.

    Copyright 2020
    Austin Area Chapter of the ACFE

    Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software