James D. Ratley, CFE

James D. Ratley graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. In 1971, he joined the Dallas Police Department as a police officer. Mr. Ratley was assigned to several police department divisions, including vice, child abuse and internal affairs. He was a member of numerous department task forces which concentrated on major fraud cases.

In 1986, Mr. Ratley left the police department to join Wells & Associates, a forensic accounting practice, where he was in charge of fraud investigations. He handled investigations regarding internal frauds, conflicts of interest and litigation support. In 1988, he was named Program Director for the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) and oversaw all aspects of the ACFE’s training and education programs.

In 2005, Mr. Ratley was awarded the ACFE’s Cressey Award, the organization’s highest honor. It is bestowed annually for a lifetime of achievement in the detection and deterrence of fraud.

In 2006, Mr. Ratley was named President of the ACFE, and in 2011, he was also named CEO. Mr. Ratley worked to promote the ACFE to the public and other professional organizations and assisted in the development of anti-fraud products and services to meet the needs of the ACFE’s members. In addition to his executive duties, Mr. Ratley served as a member of the ACFE’s faculty, and taught regularly at workshops and conferences on a variety of fraud-related subjects.

Mr. Ratley was named One of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting by Accounting Today in 2012, 2013 and 2014 with the magazine praising his leadership in a “changing, growing and evolving” accounting landscape. He was also recognized by Internal Auditor as a 2014 Outstanding Contributor for his article, “Become a Better Interviewer,” published in the magazine’s June 2013 issue, and he was selected as one of Security magazine’s Most Influential Security Executives for 2010.


Mr. Ratley served as adjunct professor at the University of Texas, where he taught a masters-level fraud examination course in the McCombs School of Business (Accounting Department). He was also a Visiting Scholar at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. Mr. Ratley has been certified as a Master Peace Officer by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Education.

In March of 2018, Mr. Ratley officially retired on his 30th anniversary with the ACFE.