"How could you?!" - not an uncommon thing for me to hear among other professionals in the business of fighting fraud when I tell them I work criminal defense cases. Admittedly, I struggled with the same issue the first time I was called by a defense attorney back in 2008. His client had been accused by a publicly traded company of stealing more than $5M in a sophisticated cash receipt theft scheme.
A married couple, who owned a business in a small town, called me to investigate some curious items found on their company's bank statements. There was a DISH Network bill being paid through their account, but they didn't have DISH Network as their cable TV provider. When they called the company to ask whose account it was, they were given the name of their bookkeeper. They dug a little deeper into the bank statements and noticed that each month there was a Verizon Wireless bill being paid by them, even though they both used AT&T. Finally, they confronted their beloved bookkeeper, Sienna. A woman in her mid-twenties, Sienna had worked for them since graduating high school, eventually working her way up in the Company to managing the office. Sienna reacted the same way most fraudsters do when they are initially caught, she lied and said that she didn't know anything about it. When pushed, she explained that it was an accident and apologized for the oversight.
This is Part 2 of a two-part article. The first part (published in the January 2014 issue of Business Valuation Update) discussed valuations of distressed debtor companies based on discounted cash flows and considered the impact of the date and stage of distress. This part describes how the financial analyst derives the cost of capital for a distressed debtor company.
This is Part 1 of a two-part article. This part discusses valuations of distressed debtor companies based on discounted cash flows and considers the impact of the date and stage of distress. Next month, Part 2 will describe how the financial analyst derives the cost of capital for a distressed debtor company.
When a client voiced strong suspicions that her soon-to-be ex-husband was hiding assets, her attorney investigated the claim but found nothing amiss. However, he hired a forensic accounting expert to help ensure his client would receive an equitable share of the marital estate. The expert turned up a trunkload of hidden treasure - undeclared cash income and property "stashed" under the names of the husband's mother and siblings.
Mr. Bad Actor is a 61–year-old male who is the senior executive of the Unlucky Transportation Company. He has been in that position for more than ten years. Before his employment at the company, he worked for a series of unsuccessful transportation companies, where both he and other stakeholders lost most of their investment. He has ongoing legal and financial problems resulting from these prior business failures and from his failed marriage.
Economic downturns and recessions are notorious for encouraging fraud. As new and prospective fraud examiners, it's imperative that you become aware of the various fraud risks that can occur and the red flags that indicate a fraud in progress.
Royalty auditing is a niche service that has exploded in popularity over the last 20 years. The primary purpose of a royalty audit is to test whether a licensee has complied with a license agreement or statutory requirement. The royalty auditor is hired by an intellectual property owner (aka, licensor) or minerals owner to inspect the books and records of a licensee primarily to determine if usage-based monetary amounts have been paid as contractually required. In addition to monetary damage calculations, most royalty audits examine for breach of contract in a wide variety of areas, such as intellectual property protection, record keeping, distribution channels, and permitted usage.
Goodwill can be a significant asset for a professional practice. It may include both "personal" goodwill that's attributable to individual owners and "business" goodwill that can be transferred to third parties. When accountants and other types of professionals divorce, the amount of goodwill to include in the marital estate can become contentious (and may vary depending on state law). If expert testimony on the issue is inadequate, a court might look elsewhere for help, as it did in a recent Texas divorce case, Hill v. Hill.
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has opened the door significantly wider for those who wish to pursue qui tam False Claims Act suits by reversing a dismissal of two such matters. Ruling en banc in United States ex rel. Hartpence v. Kinetic Concepts, Inc., the Ninth Circuit has removed a prior restriction that any prior public disclosure must have originated from the whistleblower as well.