For FBI Special Agent Eric Potocek (FEMBA ’18), the “intentness” and “enthusiasm” blocks are the most important in the John Wooden Pyramid of Success. “These are essential qualities. You must be personally driven to protect America.”
Potocek specializes in entertainment fraud, investigating and going after high-yield schemes that target unwitting mom and pop investors. In 2015 he closed the case on the Gigapix Studios investment scheme that defrauded hundreds of people who believed they were investing in a 3-D animated version of The Wizard of Oz. Previously, Potocek worked with the Special Inspector General for the Bush Administration’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he interviewed TARP’s key decision makers and examined the government bailout package provided to Citigroup.
Before that, Potocek was an auditor at Deloitte. He's one of four UCLA Anderson students receiving a 2016 John Wooden Global Leadership Fellowship.
Like Coach Wooden, Potocek was highly inspired by his father (also a white collar agent for the FBI and also once employed at Deloitte), who advised him, simply, “Always do the right thing.” In his line of work, he sees first hand that so often the victims of Ponzi schemes and other investment frauds are elderly people in rural heartland areas — unsuspecting targets, even Alzheimer’s patients, persuaded to hand over their life’s savings. Potocek enrolled at UCLA Anderson to develop the management and leadership skills that would enable him to make a greater direct impact on curbing greed.
“It’s incredibly motivating when you’re the last line of defense for the people you’re trying to protect. If you don’t find justice for them, the bad guys win.”
The 2016 John Wooden Global Leadership Award honors W. James McNerney, Jr., retired chairman, CEO and president of the Boeing Company. The event will be held on Wednesday, November 2, at the California Science Center, starting at 6:00 p.m. Business attire is required. For event and ticket information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Proceeds from the event fund fellowships for four UCLA Anderson students who are being awarded John Wooden Global Leadership Fellowships.