Under the Federal Rules of Evidence, an expert witness is required to use reliable principles and methods in coming to expert opinions. In this video, Tracy discusses the rule and how it might apply to a damage calculation done by an expert witness.
Tracy Coenen, author of “Lifestyle Analysis in Divorce Cases: Investigating Spending and Finding Hidden Income and Assets,” shares her insight on uncovering financial details to ensure that divorce settlements are fair and equitable. A forensic accountant and fraud investigator, Coenen wrote the book to arm lawyers with a powerful tool when valuing and dividing property in complex divorce cases.
Expert witnesses frequently run into Daubert challenges, through which opposing counsel is trying to prevent the witness from providing expert testimony at trial. Tracy Coenen talks about how she handles Daubert challenges in her litigation practice.
Sam Antar, former CFO of massive fraud Crazy Eddie, was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal.
Where does a forensic accountant begin when trying to calculate the income available for support in a divorce or child support case? Tracy Coenen talks about some of the issues encountered in trying to evaluate income.
Back in 2008, I wrote several articles about the suspicious activities of Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff. Specifically, I questioned the campaign contributions her received from Pre-Paid Legal Services (now Legal Shield), a company that I suggested was a thinly veiled pyramid scheme. I also criticized campaign contributions from Overstock.com. Then there was the whole thing with DigitalBridge.
It took some time, but it appears that the law may have caught up with former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff at last. Mark Shurtleff was arrested this morning along with another former Utah Attorney General, John Swallow.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune:
Attempts to silence critics of multi-level marketing companies (often referred to as legalized pyramid schemes) are nothing new. I have been on the receiving end of numerous threats and one very large legal action for my criticism of MLMs. Medifast and Take Shape For Life had a huge loss in their $270 million lawsuit against me. I was also threatened by MLM Lawyer Gerry Nehra for my criticism of Shop to Earn. (Too bad Gerry Nehra is now on the receiving end of legal action for his MLM involvement!) Multi-level marketing company Mona Vie levied these threats. Then there was this whole situation.
The latest crybaby is World Ventures, a multi-level marketing company which says it is “…the world’s largest direct seller of curated group travel, with more than 120,000 Independent Representatives in over 24 countries and we are still growing…..”
Like any good MLM, WorldVentures simply cannot allow people to criticize the company. Negative opinions must be met with swift legal action!
An investigative policy is an important tool to help manage the process of initiating a corporate fraud investigation. Doing so will help bring uniformity to the evaluation of fraud allegations, and it will help guide management through the decision making relative to the claims.
The first step in creating an investigative policy is drafting a list of red flags that might cause management to investigate. For example, a credible tip from an employee or vendor would be an important red flag which needs follow up.
The policy should help management determine what “credible” means in these situations. Does the tip come from someone who is usually reliable and honest? Does the tip make sense in light of known facts about the employees and the company? Are there sufficient details about the allegations so as to lend credibility to them? Was any credible evidence submitted with the tip?
When a business owner or executive encounters proof of a fraud-in-progress, a natural reaction is often to immediately begin investigating. After all, someone has to get to the bottom of the situation. Yet that’s not usually the best way to go.
Just like on television, we need to give owners and executives a warning that they should not try this at home. It’s tempting to dig right into a potential fraud and start to unravel what’s happened. While the immediate gathering of information is helpful to a fraud investigator, when an inexperienced person tries to go further and actually investigate, bad things can happen.
The biggest reason why company personnel should not try to investigate a fraud on their own is that a good investigation takes an experienced investigator. There are special skills that fraud investigators have, and it’s almost always best to bring in the real experts. Company personnel sometimes inadvertently destroy or damage evidence during their investigation, so that’s another reason to stop amateurs from investigating.
Another victory for Tracy Coenen in the malicious lawsuit filed more than 4 years ago by Medifast (NYSE: MED) related to their Take Shape for Life business unit. In 2011, I was dismissed from the lawsuit following my successful filing and argument of an anti-SLAPP motion. Medifast immediately appealed that decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Today, my dismissal from the Medifast lawsuit was affirmed by the Court of Appeals, which said:
5. Finally, we affirm the district court’s order granting of Coenen’s anti-SLAPP motion. Coenen’s statements were either not libelous per se or were republications for which she should be afforded immunity under the CDA.
6. Appellee Coenen shall recover her costs on appeal. All the other parties shall bear their own costs on appeal.
Medifast can suck it.