SU Professor To Help With Financial Fraud Investigations

SNOW HILL – A special investigator is expected to assist the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office with financial fraud investigations.

The Worcester County Commissioners this week voted unanimously to approve a request from Worcester County State’s Attorney Kris Heiser to authorize a special investigator position to help with financial investigations. The position will be filled by a Salisbury University professor who is a certified fraud examiner and attorney who was previously a federal law enforcement officer with the FDIC.

“I’m excited to be able to even present this opportunity,” Heiser said. “It’s really a revolutionary program that Salisbury University has started.”

Heiser told the commissioners she was seeking approval to have Salisbury University Professor David Weber to assist her office as a special investigator. He’s a licensed attorney, certified fraud examiner and former law enforcement officer with the FDIC.

“He would be a great benefit to us,” she said.

Heiser said he was willing to work without compensation and in addition to serving as a special investigator could be an expert witness in complex financial cases.

“The service we would need to be able to make the strongest case possible for prosecution sometimes is very cost prohibitive because it requires forensic accountants and their services are very expensive,” Heiser said. “He’d be willing to serve in that role.”

She said his upper level students could assist as well, though her office would be able to decide which students were eligible.

Commissioner Chip Bertino questioned why Weber was willing to offer the county so much at no charge.

“He’s willing to do it because it benefits his students,” Heiser said. “The practical work experiences — they’d be testifying in court potentially. He really is committed to showing the students what a certified fraud examiner and what a financial abuse investigation would look like. He has over 20 years of experience in that role. When I say expert witness, he’s like a unicorn. I couldn’t find somebody with better qualifications.”

Commissioner Ted Elder said he was pleased to see elder financial exploitation on the list of cases the Salisbury University program targeted. Heiser agreed and said she’d been trying since 2019 to find someone skilled in that area.

“I do see it as a gap for our county,” she said.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.