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Blogs: Investigative Financial Consulting

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Economic damages are designed to give claimants a chance to recover their financial positions in the wake of injuries caused by another party. To calculate those damages, however, is no easy task. Experts are required to help counsel and claimants build a credible calculation that matches the facts and circumstances of a case and can […]

Economic damages are designed to give claimants a chance to recover their financial positions in the wake of injuries caused by another party. To calculate those damages, however, is no easy task. Experts are required to help counsel and claimants build a credible calculation that matches the facts and circumstances of a case and can […]

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Selecting the right expert to calculate economic damages in a breach of contract claim can be critical in the success of an attorney’s case. The expert must be able to calculate damages resulting from a breach of contract and convey the story to a trier of fact in a manner that will make the attorney’s […]

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At many small businesses, it’s not uncommon to still find a mass of paper records, yellowing with age and haphazardly tossed in boxes, as well as old-school computers and dot-matrix printers with tractor feeds and green bar paper. Yet even the most unorganized and technologically unsophisticated small business may contain a trove of useful electronically […]

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Accountant malpractice claims have been a growth industry for litigators for more than two decades, thanks to increasingly strict professional standards for auditors and accountants.   And there’s no letup in sight. In fact, even in 2020, with the coronavirus wreaking havoc with the business community, regulators have continued to crack down on auditors who […]

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Despite the distractions and upheaval the Covid-19 pandemic has had on your business, be careful not to overlook another threat that could be looming around the corner — fraud in the workplace. Occupational fraud is the misuse of one’s occupation for personal gain and includes anything from stealing office supplies to cooking the books to […]

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When financial fraud investigators discuss corruption in the workplace, they are usually referring to a single employee who is exploiting their position for personal benefit. Collusion, however, involves multiple people working together to abuse their power. When a collision occurs, the damage to a company’s finances and reputation multiplies. And pinpointing the perpetrators and the […]

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The mass exodus of employees from traditional offices in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the growing ease with which information can be moved and shared has made one thing clear: Businesses are facing a risk-filled new frontier when it comes to their data security. The rapid shift to telework has only expanded the […]

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CPAs, especially those in smaller accounting practices, usually have close relationships with their clients—and rightfully so. After all, who else is better positioned to understand clients’ finances and businesses than their trusted accountants? That is until they suffer a financial fraud scheme that a CPA has failed to uncover. Then, what I call the “client […]

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Originally published by ACFE Insights. Smart people commit fraud every day. A recent case gives us a prime example. A federal judge asked Donald Watkins, Sr. to step away from the jury box as Watkins, Sr. made an impassioned plea in his closing argument. Watkins, Sr. was in the personal space of front-row jurors, who were […]

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This failure of duty matters – it violates public trust and costs innocent people their jobs, their pensions and above all – faith in a system. The Wall Street Journal reported on March 11, 2019 that David Middendorf, the former national managing partner for audit quality and professional practice at KPMG, and co-defendant, Jeffrey Wada, […]

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This is violation of trust, and it matters! Auditors must design their audits to look for fraud, and failure to do so may cause massive losses for stakeholders, investors, creditors and retirees. Neglecting to detect fraud can be truly life-altering — especially for retirees. While teaching a business ethics class in Jackson, Mississippi, I was […]

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I have worked in investigative financial consulting for more than 17 years, and during my tenure I have worked with attorneys in a variety of capacities to provide financial consulting and expert support in a broad range of personal and corporate disputes. One of those capacities includes serving as a forensic accounting expert on cases involving wage-based losses.

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Charitable giving, while good with intent, is not always received as expected. Let’s say you and I give to a seemingly worthwhile charity. You may be surprised at who really takes from the charity – frequently, it’s the fundraisers and executives. Oftentimes the fundraisers and executives are one in the same, since many founders will leave the charity to start a consulting and fundraising business to contract with the charity. This is really where it begins to get out of hand.

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As a frequent speaker on the subject of fraud, people often ask me, “How do you investigate fraud?” My answer is always the same: You look for the anomaly. To me, it sounds so simple until I step back and realize that most people cannot see the anomaly, although it is usually right in front of them.

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With all of the publicity that surrounded the Bernard Madoff, Scott Rothstein, ZeekRewards and Allen Stanford Ponzi schemes, among many others, you would think that people would have by now received the message about Ponzi Schemes; how they work and how those investors lose their money.

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Like a magician’s sleight of hand, the barrage of headline news related to hackers and cyber criminals may divert attention away from the equally dangerous, but perhaps less obvious, threat to your corporate assets: employees. While trusted employees are moving, sharing, and exposing corporate data just to do their jobs, the malicious employee may be deliberately taking confidential information for personal gain or other nefarious reasons.

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Increasingly, the answers to the most fundamental litigation questions – the “who, what, where, when, and why” – are contained in electronically stored information (ESI), which can be retrieved through electronic discovery (e-discovery) and/or computer forensics.

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In our case study, gas station owner, Morris, has alleged that Green Fuel, a small gasoline distributor, overcharged him. Both parties had inadequate and unsophisticated documentation, making determining losses very difficult.

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You might not think that a small business would have useful or accessible electronically stored information (ESI). Consider this example of identifying and obtaining relevant forensic evidence to determine lost profit damages with this particular small business.

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Think twice before you assume that an unsophisticated small business cannot possibly have any useful or accessible electronically stored information (ESI).

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