FBI takes recruiting efforts to WSU accounting students

Feb 25, 2022, 9:34 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 4:56 pm

OGDEN, Utah — The FBI stands to lose about 75% of their agents in Utah to retirement over the next several years. Today they were at Weber State University to recruit students who will graduate with a background in accounting.

“You guys know what 10-99s are, right?” agent Casey Hill asked a room of students.

Agent Hill speaks to a group of students at WSU. (Mike Anderson, KSL TV)

Hill, and several other agents here who focus on IRS criminal investigation, came to campus to show what it takes to follow the money.

“Yeah, so, that’s basically what we do,” Hill said. “We follow the money — that’s what we’re known for.”

He says a background in accounting is key to doing that well.

“Salt Lake City and Utah has a lot of financial fraud going on,” Hill said. “We see a lot of Ponzi schemes, we see a lot of tax fraud.”

Lots of opportunity to bust white collar crime, all over the country. And unlike in the past, future agents who choose to chase the numbers have a much better chance to choose where they want to work. That’s because a lot of agents are expected to retire soon.

“And that means if we don’t start hiring people now, there’s a lot of institutional knowledge that’s going to be lost with those agents retiring.”

Students at WSU preparing to take part in handcuffing demonstration as part of visit from FBI agents. (Mike Anderson, KSL TV)

They’re learning about surveillance, undercover work and even digging through trash for evidence.

For students like Hailey Hill today might spark an interest in an area where they never thought their math skills could take them.

“Yeah, I never really traditionally linked accounting with law enforcement,” she said.

And Timothy Parkinson said, “it is very interesting to see this and to able to use your accounting skills to piece together investigations.”

There were a handful of students in criminal justice in attendance today, but the majority are all in accounting majors and minors.

Agent Hill says those are the skills that can’t be easily picked up in the field.

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FBI takes recruiting efforts to WSU accounting students