Being a certified public accountant can be an exciting job. Just ask Thomas Hughes.
A former special agent for the FBI, Hughes recently became a director of forensic and investigative services for Deloitte & Touche's Pacific-Southwest region.
The 57-year-old Hughes brings more than three decades of investigative experience to the Los Angeles office of the professional services firm, where his duties include everything from doing security reviews of facilities to conducting fraud investigations for clients in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada.
"Most people are good. Some people fall off the page a little bit but they still have their childhood upbringing and their conscience to reconcile with," Hughes said of his experience in getting suspects to confess to their crimes. "Frequently, you'll see someone who has done something wrong and hurt a company, they want to get it off their chest."
The son of an FBI agent, Hughes decided to follow in his father's footsteps. He entered the bureau in 1966, after earning a master's degree in business administration and becoming a certified public accountant.
"Most people don't realize the white-collar crime program in the FBI is the largest (division in the bureau)," Hughes said. "One of the quickest tracks into the FBI is to have an accounting degree."
Since retiring from the FBI in 1993, Hughes has continued his investigative work in the private sector. His resume includes a stint as director of corporate security for Raytheon Co.
Hughes said his time in the private sector has been just as exciting as the years he spent in the FBI.
Spindler agreed that investigating fraud in corporate America has its thrills.
"It's as exciting as accounting gets," he said.
Claudia PeschiuttaAccounting & Consulting
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