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Join us as we take on fraud in Tarrant County

The 11th Annual Tolleson Fraud Conference is coming up shortly! Co-hosted by Texas Wesleyan University and the Fort Worth ACFE Chapter, the event will be Friday, April 21, 2023 on the Texas Wesleyan University campus. This event offers an unparalleled opportunity to connect with other local professionals in the anti-fraud industry, participate in though-provoking presentations, and receive nine hours CPE at a competitive price. 

Topics presented cover a variety of industries and the types of fraud encountered, including an organized crime fraud scam, money laundering, interviewing tactics, professional skepticism, embezzlement, criminal prosecutions, and other fraud schemes / case studies.

To register for the 11th Annual Texas Wesleyan Fraud Conference, click here.

Conference Agenda

7:15 am - 8:00 am 

Check-In, Breakfast, and Networking 

8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Opening Remarks & Conference Presentations


“Black Axe Crime Syndicate, Uncovering a West African Fraud Scam”

Jeff Prater – Colleyville Police Department

Dara Couch – Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office

Detective Jeff Prater is a law enforcement officer with the Colleyville Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit and is currently assigned to the United States Secret Service Financial and Cyber Crimes Task Force. Throughout his 20 year career, Detective Prater has worked in a number of capacities including: SWAT Operator, Sniper Team Leader, Criminal Interdiction Officer, Undercover Operations, TCOLE Instructor, Firearms and Armor Instructor, Police Academy Instructor, Police Explorer Advisor, and Citizens Police Academy Coordinator. As a member of both Colleyville’s Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit and United States Secret Service Task Force, Detective Prater investigates high profile, complex and sophisticated criminal cases such as: Aggravated Robbery, Organized Crime, Sex and Human Trafficking, Money Laundering, Identity Theft and Fraud among others. Detective Prater has coordinated multi-jurisdiction operations that included; US State Department, Customs & Border Patrol, Federal Burial of Investigations, Internal Revenue Services, United States Secret Service, Texas Department of Public Safety, and local law enforcement agencies. To date, Detective Prater has successfully seized and prosecuted subjects in both state and federal cases. Officer Prater is currently investigating a number of intricate and multifaceted financial crime cases including: International Chinese Gift Card Fraud Scam, SBA (Small Business Administration) Fraud, BEC (Business Email Compromise), PPP (Payroll Protection Program), Aryan Brotherhood Identity Theft Ring, Counterfeiting, and International Money Laundering Cases. Detective Prater has had the honor of receiving multiple awards over the course of his career including: Officer of the Year Award (x2), Mercy House Hero Award (Women’s Shelter Award), 2021, International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Leadership in the Prevention of Transnational Crime Award (Nigerian Elder Fraud & Money Laundering), and is currently a Finalist for the Fifth Annual United States Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Community Policing.

Criminal Investigator Dara Couch is a law enforcement officer with the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office. She investigates cases filed by 41 incorporated areas. She is currently assigned to Elder Financial Fraud unit within the White-Collar Crime Unit. She spent her career in law enforcement with the Dallas Police Department where she worked in a number of capacities and is honorably retired since June 2017. Investigator Couch has been with the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office since June 2017. The Elder Financial Fraud unit was created in May 2017 as a specialized prosecution unit that focuses on the elder population, 65+, and who are victims of Financial Fraud. The unit currently has 92 active cases. Investigator Couch investigates and prepares for trial these high profile, complex and sophisticated felony financial  cases such as: Engaging in Organized Crime, Money Laundering, Forgery, Misapplication of Funds, Theft, Identity Theft, Credit Card Abuse, Fraud Use/Possession of Identifying Information, Exploitation of the Elderly/Disabled and others. Other cases that fall into this unit along with the financial aspect are Assault, Robbery, Burglary, Bail Jumping, False Statement to Obtain Property/Credit, Tampering with Government Record, and others. Investigator Couch has had the honor of receiving a few awards over the course of her career including; Life Saving Award (twice), Certificate of Merit, 2021 International Association of Chiefs of Police Leadership in the Prevention of Transnational Crime Award and was a 2021 Finalist in the Fifth Annual United States Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Community Policing. Investigator Couch is a Certified Fraud Examiner, TCOLE Instructor, Field Training Officer, Master Peace Officer and graduated from the University of North Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice – Magna Cum Laude.

“Money Laundering Case Study: The Fracking Truth”

Ronny Leazer – Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI)

Ronny Leazer, CPA is a Special Agent with IRS – Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) in the Dallas Field Office.  Mr. Leazer joined IRS-CI in 2002.  A majority of Mr. Leazer’s career as a Special Agent has been spent leading large, complex federal white-collar criminal investigations involving violations of the Internal Revenue Code (tax evasion), the Money Laundering Control Act and the Bank Secrecy Act (structuring).  Mr. Leazer also served as IRS-CI’s representative on the National Joint Terrorism Task Force and on the IRS Commissioner’s Protection Detail.  Mr. Leazer was designated as a Money Laundering Expert Witness in the Eastern Judicial District of Texas.  Mr. Leazer earned a B.B.A. in Accounting from the University of Louisiana – Monroe and is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Texas. 

Lunch Break from 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Get Rich Quick: Embezzlement and a Government Agency

Rick Roybal – Matador Resources Company

Vendor-Risk Management “activist”, auditor, author, and speaker, Rick Roybal has worked in the oil and gas industry for almost two decades. Today, Rick works for Matador Resources, where he ensures vendor compliance with the company’s accounting and policies and procedures, as well as the accuracy and validity of its billing process. He has earned three degrees: B.A. Russian, M.A. Linguistics, and M.B.A. Finance & Accounting. His published work includes articles in COPAS ACCOUNTS, ACFE FRAUD, and THeIIA Internal Auditor.

“Cartel Infiltration of Industry”

Lori Varnell – Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office 

Lori Varnell is the current Chief, Elder Financial Fraud Unit, Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney's Office. Lori previously served as Chief Trial Attorney, Assistant United States Attorney, Northern District of Texas Economic Crime Unit. Lori’s additional crime fighting efforts include: Trial Attorney, Assistant Criminal District Attorney, Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney's Office White Collar Crime Assistant Chief/Computer Crime and Legal Liaison/Trial Attorney Assistant Chief, White Collar Crime, White Collar Crime Unit Felony Trial Attorney and Computer Crime Unit Felony Trial Attorney.  Lori is also an Adjunct Professor at Texas Wesleyan University, sharing her experience and expertise related to fraud and the legal environment.  

5:00 pm

Closing Remarks

Conference Policies


Individuals who "no show" at the conference will forfeit the entire registration fee. Substitutions are welcome. If you need to cancel your registration, please send notice at least 7 days in advance to president@fwacfe.org


Parking is free to conference participants. Handicap parking and access are provided.

Cellular Phones

Please silence all cellular phones while the conference is in session.

Recording Devices

Audio and video recording is prohibited at the conference.


Texas Wesleyan University is a tobacco-free campus.

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