Michael Symons

Michael (Mick) Symons fraud and corruption investigator

Michael (Mick) Symons

Senior Consultant

Michael (Mick) Symons has extensive experience in all aspects of investigation. He has managed multi-skilled and multi-jurisdictional teams investigating complex matters including complex fraud and corruption. Mick is admitted to practice law in SA. He has held a restricted (government) practicing certificate in NSW. He is a certified fraud examiner, a certified international compliance expert and an accredited mediator. He is a member of the Council of International Investigators.

Mick had a lengthy career in the South Australia Police before moving to NSW where he was the Executive Director of the Investigation Division (NSW ICAC) for four years before establishing his own international consultancy in 2011. The majority of his career in South Australia was in the Criminal Investigation arena where he was the Officer-in-Charge of the Operations Section of Drug Enforcement, the Officer in Charge of the Organised Crime Task Force, the Officer in Charge of the Major Crime Investigation Branch and the Officer in Charge of the Anti-Corruption Branch.

Mick currently conducts misconduct investigations and provides fraud and corruption advice both nationally and internationally to clients such as APEC and USAid. He provided training in anti-corruption related matters to the Bangladesh police (UNODP). He is a corporate investigator with Fulcrum Chambers (specialist London law firm dealing in FCPA and UK Bribery Act matters). Mick has lectured in post-graduate and specialist courses in the Hong Kong University, Wollongong University and the Australian National University.

In the course of his various careers, Mick has been involved directly either as an investigator or manager in more than 3000 investigations. He is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). This credential denotes proven expertise in fraud prevention, detection and deterrence. CFEs are trained to identify the warning signs and red flags that indicate evidence of fraud and fraud risk. CFEs around the world help protect the global economy by uncovering fraud and implementing processes to prevent fraud from occurring in the first place.

Mick has conducted investigation training in numerous jurisdictions. He has trained investigators in the Indonesian Anti-Corruption Agency (KPK) in the processes of investigation as well as the management of a team of investigators in complex corruption related matters. He has also trained investigators in the Serbian Anti-Corruption Agency, and the Bhutan Anti-Corruption Agency. He regularly presents a three-day Master Class in Singapore relating to fraud within procurement. He was part of an international team that reviewed the investigation processes of the Office of Internal Oversight for the United Nations.

Mick has conducted probity assurance for a major NSW metropolitan council in relation to major development projects.

He was the Executive Director of the Investigation Division of the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). While there he had oversight of more than 300 preliminary investigations and 50 major investigations. He is a graduate of the International Anti-Corruption Academy in Austria and is a specialist in developing policy relating to the prevention of fraud and corruption within companies.

Investigation examples

  • A misconduct investigation into allegations of corrupt conduct associated with secondary employment, time and attendance.
  • Council Code of Conduct assessment into allegations relating to SMS communication from a Mayor to a councillor about a staff member.
  • An investigation involving conduct in a public forum.
  • Retained as a specialist consultant to address allegations of impropriety relating to fundraising for a large political organisation. This included conducting a risk assessment, developing and implementing a probity program, as well as conducting internal investigations into alleged misconduct within the organisation.
  • Part of a team of independent experts who reviewed the processes of the Investigations Division of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) of the United Nations.
  • Team Leader for specialist investigators and legal personnel investigating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and UK Bribery Act – based in London.
  • Misconduct investigation into allegations ranging from sexual harassment, bullying, discipline (Code of Conduct) through to fraud and corruption. 

Other projects

  • Training in the PEACE method of interview technique and investigative strategies.
  • Provided three-day Master Classes relating to fraud within procurement and public sector corruption.

Education

Master of Business Administration
Master of Laws (International Law/ International Relations)
Bachelor of Business
Graduate Diploma in Fraud Investigation
Diploma of Government Investigation
Post-Graduate – Corruption in procurement
Professional Certificate in Arbitration
Diploma of Education and Training
Advanced Diploma of Integrated Risk Management
Commercial Crime Course
Graduate Diploma – Public Administration

Memberships

Member of Council of International Investigators (CII)
Member Australian Institute of Professional Investigators (AIPI)
Association of certified anti-money laundering specialists (ACAMS)
Member Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE)
Member of Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE)
International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities – Member
Transparency International – Member
Member of the Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI)
Licensed Investigator New South Wales and South Australia

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