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  • Steven Lee

Back to AFS!

Later this month, I'll be presenting my research affirming the Five Fraud Languages I originally espoused in my paper (co-authored with Drs. Benjamin Cummings and Jason Martin), "Victim Characteristics of Investment Fraud." There, I hypothesized five different fraud languages scammers use to dupe their victims by shutting down the perceived need to conduct due diligence within their victims' minds:

  1. Aura of Perceived Success;

  2. Air of Familiarity;

  3. Appeal to Authority;

  4. Attachment to a Charitable Cause; and

  5. Authenticity Framed through Legitimate Business.

The Achilles' heel of my initial foray into the subject matter was that the SEC litigation releases I chose were largely influenced by Lisa Fairfax's 2001 article in the Georgia Law Review, "With Friends Like These...": Toward a More Efficacious Response to Affinity-Based Securities and Investment Fraud." Upon reading her work, I decided to arbitrarily selected several releases from 2013, utilizing Fairfax (2001) as a kind of blueprint. Upon viewing the cases juxtaposed onto an Excel spreadsheet, I identified five major themes (listed above).


This time, I used exploratory analysis of qualitative data to determine whether the Five Fraud Language construct held up among 10,000 SEC Litigation releases between 1995 and 2019. It did.


I will present my findings the morning of Wednesday, September 22 at 10:45 am over Zoom. HERE is the registration link to the AFS conference page in case you wish to attend.


Hope to see you there!




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