Economic Crime Forensics

Program Description

The goal of this program is to prepare students to enter the field of economic crime and digital forensics in careers such as internal and external fraud auditors, digital forensics specialists, and data and network security managers. The program prepares individuals to detect, deter, and investigate instances of economic crime, misconduct, and abuse. This program is unique to the Eastern Pennsylvania geographic area.

The M.S. in ECF incorporates key components from La Salle's graduate programs in Computer Information Science, Information Technology Leadership, and Master of Business Administration. The program adds additional theory in areas of criminal justice, litigation preparation, and corporate ethics. The program also provides an additional path for technology managers interested in pursuing a leadership career by integrating financial compliance with corporate business goals. Students complete a capstone experience which integrates theory and practice through either an industry specific research project or a program-related experiential position.

The program is offered in an online format and follows the traditional academic calendar of a fall and spring semester and a shorter summer semester. The fall and spring semesters are divided into two 8 week terms.  A full-time graduate student carries a minimum of 6 semester credit hours. Some courses may require more hours per week in some areas of instruction. All courses are online and 3 credits in the length. The courses will meet both synchronously (optional) and asynchronously. Students are required to participate in chat sessions and/or discussion boards, which will take the place of classroom meetings.  Synchronous sessions will be recorded for students who are not able to attend the actual session.  Students who are not able to attend the synchronous sessions will be asked to complete a short assignment related to the recorded session. Depending on their personal schedules, students may elect to take courses every term or wait for the next term to continue studies.  Courses in the summer are also 8 weeks in length.  If a student decides to take two courses during the summer session, they will overlap in the time frame.

The M.S. in ECF focuses on a set of theoretical core competencies which include the following:

  • Economic crime definition, analysis, and prevention;
  • Legal and corporate compliance and ethical issues;
  • Economic risk analysis and mitigation; and
  • Investigative practices, principles, and prosecution.


Margaret McCoey, M.S.


(215) 951-1136


If you have any questions regarding the Economic Crime Forensics program, please contact:


The M.S. in Economic Crime Forensics augments students’ background, to acquire both practical and theoretical knowledge in their chosen field, and to enhance their professional competence. Students who earn a M.S. in Economic Crime Forensics will be prepared to advance in their professional careers while completing a graduate degree.

Program Goals

  • Prepare students to participate ethically and professionally in a global market.
  • Prepare students to enter the field of economic crime prevention and detection and investigation.
  • Prepare students to apply standards and best practices of forensics and litigation support.
  • Prepare students to be corporate leaders in fraud prevention and deterrence.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Propose business law standards, standards of ethics, and professional codes of conduct related to corporate leadership.
  2. Evaluate and support accounting and auditing concepts related to the causation of corporate economic crime.
  3. Devise plans and processes to prevent and deter economic crime.
  4. Select and prepare evidence for litigation.
  5. Propose legal, regulatory and professional environments relative to deterring economic crime
  6. Develop standards and procedures for handling and custody of digital evidence
  7. Devise, implement and assess leadership policies, procedures and standards to detect, deter, prevent and remediate corporate economic crime.

Program Specific Information

Academic Requirements

Students must complete the ten core courses for the degree:

  • ECF 601 - Fraud Examination Principles and Practices
  • ECF 604 - The Computer and Internet Fraud
  • ECF 605 - Corporate Ethics and Compliance
  • ECF 610 - Criminal Justice and Legal Concepts
  • ECF 625 - Litigation Support Practices and Procedures
  • ECF 632 - Financial Statement Fraud
  • ECF 636 - Occupational Fraud and Abuse
  • ECF 644 - Information Security
  • ECF 652 - Leadership Assessment and Evaluation
  • ECF 655 - Fraud Detection and Prevention: Special Cases

Students choose one of the following:

  • ECF 628 - Cybercrime, Cyber Warfare, Cyber Espionage
  • ECF 638 - White Collar Crime
  • ECF 658 - Data Mining
  • ECF 665 - Computer Digital Forensics

All students complete a capstone project:

ECF 880 - Integrative Capstone


Course Sequence

Tentative Schedule

Fall 1

ECF 601

ECF 636

Spring 1

ECF 632

ECF 604

Summer 1

ECF 655

ECF 605

Fall 2
ECF 638

ECF 610


Spring 2
ECF 644

ECF 625

Summer  2
ECF 652

ECF Capstone

Degree or Certificate Earned


Number of Courses Required for Program Completion


Number of Credits Required for Program Completion


GPA Required for Program Completion


Program Contact Information


Holroyd 123

(215) 951-1136

Staff Contact Information

Margaret McCoey

Program Director

Holroyd 123

(215) 951-1136


Program Director: Margaret McCoey, M.S.
Associate Professors: Redmond, Wang
Assistant Professors: McCoey
Lecturers:Ackerman, Casey, Crossen, Henry, Hilkowitz, Monaghan, Smith, Walters, Zikmund

Course Descriptions

ECF 601 - Fraud Examination: Principles and Practices

This course will provide students the weapons to fight fraud by focusing on basic fraud schemes, information and evidence gathering, criminal and civil prosecution, and criminology and ethics. The objective of this course is to provide students with methodologies for resolving fraud allegations from inception to disposition. Students taking this course gain an understanding of the different types of fraud, the legal environment of fraud, and the ways to obtain evidence and assist in the detection and prevention of fraud.

Number of Credits: 3

ECF 604 - The Computer and Internet Fraud

Computers have made organizations easier to run. All accounting information, inventory records, customer data, and intellectual property that an organization possesses is contained somewhere in an electronic file. As such, these electronic files are vulnerable to attacks from both employees and outsiders from around the world. This course will provide the student with an understanding of how computer fraud and manipulation is accomplished and what security measures should be instituted to prevent it.

Number of Credits: 3

ECF 605 - Corporate Ethics and Compliance

This course will examine corporate compliance as a response to the Sarbanes/Oxley legislation, which requires corporations to implement programs designed to impact business practices relative to honesty, integrity, compliance, and ethical behavior. Students will review the elements of the Act with particular emphasis on the areas of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB); auditor independence; corporate responsibility; enhanced financial disclosure; corporate fraud; and accountability as they relate to the promotion of enhanced financial security and address corporate malfeasance. Students will evaluate case studies of practical applications of theories and practices on the implementation of ethics and professionalism.

Number of Credits: 3

The course provides an overview of the legal systems and expertise required for fraud risk professionals. The course enables participants to deepen their knowledge of the U.S. legal system by acquiring a broader understanding of processes and procedures that focus on fraud investigation, prosecution, and civil remedies. The course covers knowledge of law enforcement agencies, federal rules and regulations and evidence management, and expert testimony.

Number of Credits: 3

ECF 625 - Litigation Support Practices and Procedures

Learners will explore white collar misconduct that constitutes civil and/or criminal fraud in a corporate setting, including but not limited to: (1) falsification of business records; (2) false billing; (3) forgery of documents or signatures; (4) embezzlement; (5) creation of false companies; (6) false insurance claims; (7) bankruptcy fraud; (8) investment frauds (such as Ponzi schemes); (9) tax fraud; and (10) securities fraud. Students will develop processes and procedures for proper evidence management as well as learn how to prepare to serve as an expert witness and write legally sound expert reports.

Number of Credits: 3

Prerequisites: ECF 610

ECF 628 - Cybercrime, Cyber Warfare, Cyber Espionage

This course introduces students to the differences between cybercrime, cyber warfare and cyber espionage by discussing the relationship of cyber intrusions and cybersecurity to nations, businesses, society, and people.  Students will use case studies to analyze the threats, vulnerabilities and risks present in these environments, and develop strategies to reduce the breaches and mitigate the damages.

Number of Credits: 3

ECF 632/FACC 702 - Financial Statement Fraud

This course introduces students to the differences between cybercrime, cyber warfare and cyber espionage by discussing the relationship of cyber intrusions and cybersecurity to nations, businesses, society, and people.  Students will use case studies to analyze the threats, vulnerabilities and risks present in these environments, and develop strategies to reduce the breaches and mitigate the damages.

Number of Credits: 3

ECF 636 - Occupational Fraud and Abuse

Occupational fraud and abuse is described as the use of one’s occupation for personal enrichment through the deliberate misuse or misapplication of one’s employing organization’s resources or assets. Through the use of real-life case examples, this course will focus on the types of persons most likely to perpetrate occupational fraud, the conditions under which fraud might be committed, and the specific schemes used to defraud organizations of amounts ranging from hundreds to millions of dollars.

Number of Credits: 3

ECF 638 - White Collar Crime

This course focuses on the battle between personal gain and individual integrity and provides a comprehensive analysis of white-collar crime in American society. The course presents a picture of all types of white-collar crime, and includes discussion of high-profile cases, trends in criminal activity, consequences of criminal behavior, and the impact on victims. The course addresses the economic crisis, its causes, cases and participants, and the impact of white-collar crime.

Number of Credits: 3

ECF 644 - Information Security

This course explores all aspects of computing and communications security, including policy, authentication, authorization, administration, and business resumption planning. It examines key security technologies, such as encryption, firewalls, public-key infrastructures, smart cards, and related technologies that support the development of an overall security architecture. Coursework includes plans for developing and implementing a technology security strategy focused on business needs.

Number of Credits: 3

Prerequisites: ECF 604

ECF 652 - Leadership Assessment and Evaluation

This experiential course emphasizes the importance of feedback and self- assessment for leadership development. It includes extensive assessment of each participant’s management style and skills based on self-evaluations (using structured questionnaires) and feedback from coworkers, faculty, and other participants. Leadership development experiences emphasize time and stress management, individual and group problem-solving, communication, power and influence, motivation, conflict management, empowerment, and team leadership. Each participant identifies skills he or she needs to develop and reports on efforts to develop those skills.

Number of Credits: 3

ECF 655 - Fraud Detection and Prevention: Special Cases

The opportunity to commit and conceal fraud exists only when there are assets susceptible to misappropriation and a lack of internal controls to prevent or detect fraud. This course will focus on the high-risk fraud environments wherein assets are more vulnerable to misappropriation and fraud because of either a lack of, or non-functioning of, internal controls. The study of various fraud investigative methods and the process for communicating an expert report will be an essential part of this course.

ECF 658 - Data Mining

This course introduces the field of data mining, with specific emphasis on its use for Machine Learning algorithms. Techniques covered may include conceptual clustering, learning decision rules and decision trees, case-based reasoning, Bayesian analysis, genetic algorithms, and neural networks. The course covers data preparation and analysis of results. Skills in Microsoft Excel are useful.

Number of Credits: 3

ECF 665 - Computer Digital Forensics

This course examines techniques used to conduct computer crime investigations and gather probative evidence to secure a conviction under state and federal laws. Students will simulate a computer forensic investigation: developing an investigation plan, securing the crime scene, analyzing evidence, preparing the case for court, and testifying in a moot court situation.

Number of Credits: 3

ECF 880 - Integrative Capstone

The capstone project is an opportunity to pursue an independent learning experience focused on a specific aspect of economic crime forensics based on the student interest. The capstone is intended to extend students beyond the coursework and cases to apply knowledge in ways that are relevant to their professional goals. Students will work on a research project or in an experiential learning environment. Each student will be required to present his/her capstone both as an oral presentation and a summary written document.

Number of Credits: 3