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Former FBI Agent Uses Humor to Fight Crime In McPherson College’s Harter Lecture

posted Jan 17, 2013 in CAMPUS EVENTS

Mobsters “encrypting” their new phone number on a tapped line by simply reversing the digits. Illegal gamblers placing their bets with an FBI agent, even when he identifies himself as an agent. Drug dealers accidentally seeing themselves from an FBI video surveillance feed on their own TV … and getting caught anyway.

Fighting crime with the FBI is, sometimes, just plain funny.

The guest for the Harter Lecture on Feb. 8 at McPherson College - retired FBI agent Jeff Lanza - has more than 20 years of experience investigating corruption, fraud, organized crime, cyber crime, human trafficking and terrorism. But among all of the serious cases he’s dealt with, Lanza also has his share of trademark humorous tales, some of which will be included in his lecture at noon in Mingenback Theatre - “Hoodlums to Hackers: How Criminals Commit Fraud and What You Can Do to Stop Them."

“My use of humor in the presentation does not mean I am not serious about the topic,” Lanza said. “I like to keep people engaged through great stories. I always tie the story and humor to key learning points to help people remember.”

The informative and entertaining lecture will explain how criminals, scam artists and hackers take advantage of vulnerabilities to commit their crimes and help those in attendance to take steps to keep from becoming a victim. After his career in law enforcement and criminal investigation, the Kansas City native now helps prevent crime through education and has appeared on Fox News, The Today Show, Good Morning America and CNN.

He is the author of “Pistols to Press” - about his career as an FBI Special agent and a spokesman for the bureau. He was also a consultant on director Ang Lee’s “Ride with the Devil,” and is a regular consultant for television and movie productions.

The Harter Lecture in Business is named for McPherson College Alumni Jack and Eleanor Harter. The Harter’s met during their student days at McPherson, Jack served for many years as a member of the trustee board, and both have given generously of their time, leadership skills, and resources.

Rod Gieselman, associate professor of business, said they were excited to bring Lanza to McPherson College and for the two classroom sessions Lanza will give the morning before the lecture.

“The noon luncheon is an opportunity for us to give back to our business community for all of the support it gives to McPherson College and our business students,” Gieselman said.

More about Jeff Lanza, including samples of his lectures, are available at

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