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One Profession Many Career Choices
John Samore III
John Samore III
“For many years, while I was going through undergrad at USC, I wanted to be a police officer; all I wanted to do was work for the highway patrol,” says Samore, who even served as an explorer with the California Highway Patrol.
I did ride-alongs and thought, ‘What a job. You have the freedom of the road, aiding and assisting motorists. It really is a giving-back type of profession.’”
In the end, though, rather than sign on with the CHP, Samore followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the CPA profession. But his opportunity to help the long arm of the law hasn’t been lost.
Samore met a former FBI agent who was making a move to KPMG. “When he got there, I called him and we hit it off so well I ended up getting a job with KPMG in the forensic and fraud field,” says Samore. “It was like being a special agent for the FBI without the gun and the badge, and doing the same type of work, but on the civil side, not the criminal side.”
Companies called on Samore to investigate allegations of fraud or mismanagement. The job led to some very interesting experiences for Samore, one of them culminating in the eventual bust of the godfather of toner.
Samore was called to investigate a clerk who was suspected of doctoring records and embezzling money from a San Jose medical center. It turned out to be an extortion case that started with the clerk trying to save money by taking up an offer faxed into the office. “She would buy office supplies at the great prices offered by the fax, and we’re talking Post-it notes, and the sellers would then send her a thank-you gift for purchasing from them, like a color TV,” explains Samore. “So now they have her hooked. Next it was toner cartridges. It started off with two cartridges, then it was 10 and ultimately we found a warehouse of purchased toner cartridges.”
The seller had basically told the clerk by threatening to tell her boss about the gifts she accepted. So, to keep buying and prevent her boss finding out, she doctored records.
“It turned into a criminal matter and we started working with the FBI, who began surveilling the company,” says Samore. “It turned out, unbeknownst to us, they had been looking for the person behind this scheme, who was apparently the godfather of toner fraud in the San Fernando Valley.
“We ended up searching her house and finding the ‘gifts’ and went to her office early in the morning, before she arrived, to go through the books and records. When she got to the office and saw all the people, she frantically took off, called her husband and threatened to commit suicide. It was a very, very interesting engagement for an accountant to encounter. It wasn’t your traditional financial statement fraud,” he says.
Today, Samore is a manager with True Partners Consulting, a firm founded by former Andersen personnel. He’s also starting his own business, a stock alert service called GrowYourRetirement.com. Samore also speaks to students at schools and universities about diverse career paths for those with a degree in accounting. He participates in leadership programs with CalCPA and is an avid softball player. “I keep busy.”
This wide range of experience gives Samore nothing but positive things to say about his business. “I believe in the profession,” he says. “Being a CPA will take you anywhere you want to go.”
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