About Kelly

Kelly Paxton, CFE, Licensed Private Investigator

Kelly Paxton, CFE, Licensed Private Investigator

Kelly Paxton started her career in law enforcement as a Special Agent for US Customs Office of Investigations in 1993. Ms. Paxton was recruited by US Customs Office of Investigations for her expertise in finance. She worked white collar fraud, money laundering and narcotics cases. She also was responsible for the district’s undercover operations and financial reporting of these operations.

Kelly has worked in the public and private sector. She has worked for the prosecution and defense. Her investigations include embezzlement, conflict of interest, intellectual property, Open Source Intelligence and fraud. Her most recent position was at Nike where she was recruited for her expertise in Open Source Intelligence and being a Certified Fraud Examiner. 

What started out as a research project, why are the majority of embezzlement suspects women, became her passion. While working at the Washington County Sheriff's Office in the Fraud Identity Theft Enforcement group, Kelly found the definition of Pink Collar Crime (Kathleen Daly, Criminology Magazine 1989).

Women steal differently than men. Interviewing a woman requires a different mindset in many cases. Using not only anecdotal evidence but academic studies, Kelly is able to combine this knowledge into a complete investigation. Kelly speaks nationally on the topic. She is considered to be a subject matter expert. 

Kelly travels throughout the United States speaking about Pink Collar Crime. She also speaks on other fraud topics including ethics and non-profit fraud.

Why do I do this? 

Everyone has a mother. I was used to “bad guys” when I was in federal law enforcement. When I worked at the Sheriff’s Office as their fraud analyst, I realized that most all my suspects in embezzlement cases were women. They were “nice” women. They were moms, grandmas, sisters, wives and daughters. They weren’t scary. Most all of them had not committed embezzlement before. But for varying reasons they crossed the line and became criminals. Maybe it was for a sick child, an aging parent, financial difficulties due to their significant other losing a job or just deciding they wanted more. 

I speak, teach, blog and tweet about these women because businesses, governments, school districts, unions, and anyone else who makes money needs to realize crime comes in all shapes and sizes. Just because someone is a long term, trusted employee does not mean things can’t change in their life and they make a bad decision.