Attorneys, Accountants, Bankers Share Ideas in Corporate Casual

Small Business Times
By Heather Stur

Networking events tend to be either happy hour gatherings or continuing education opportunities. But there is at least one group in Milwaukee’s business community that provides the best of both worlds. Corporate Casual is a business development group for attorneys, accountants, and bankers.

The idea was born in October of 2001, when a group of executives got together to create a way to connect attorneys, accountants and bankers in a different way than the standard networking event.

“The focus was narrowed to attorneys, accountants and bankers because of the natural business connections between the three professions,” said Tracy Coenen, president of Corporate Causal and owner of Sequence Inc. in Milwaukee.

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Hired Guns Can Keep Identity Thieves Away

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
By Stan Miller

Sometimes, technology privacy and security are so important that you bring in a hired gun to make sure you are adequately protected against the forces of evil on the Internet and beyond.

Ben Sherwood, a privacy adviser and chief of Sherwood Personal Security, is one of those hired guns, a leader of a team of mercenaries skilled in the arts of computer security, intrusion detection and network integrity. Sherwood – who lives in Milwaukee and whose company is based in Oak Brook, Ill. – said his small team analyzes the technology its clients use, finds the privacy and security problems and then recommends remedies.

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Women of Influence Awards

The Business Journal
By Marci Pelzer

White-collar crooks, beware. Sequence Inc., Tracy Coenen’s nearly 3-year-old forensic accounting business, has grown 300 percent in 2002. It’s as if she looked into a crystal ball and saw the fates of Enron, Tyco and Worldcom coming before anyone else did.

When attorneys, claims adjusters and CEOs need to document embezzlement and fraud, win contract disputes, or resolve tax controversy, they call on Coenen to document misdeeds and testify in court. “My clients tell me to go find the money,” she says.

Coenen studied accounting and criminology at Marquette University. A class exploring the different kinds of white-collar crime piqued her interest, but at the time she was unsure of a practical application for her quirky passion. “I’m a numbers person,” she says.

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Workplace Fraud

The evening newscast featured Tracy Coenen giving her expert opinion on occupational fraud and abuse. A fraud committed by an employee of restaurateur Johnny Vassallo prompted the story, to raise awareness of the issue.

Text Version:

WTMJ Milwaukee – 4 On Your Side
10:00 news, October 8, 2002

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Do the Prosecution Thing

The Business Journal of Milwaukee
By Kathy Bergstrom

Johnny Vassallo wants to send a message in his pursuit of a forgery case against his former employee. Rather than simply firing his bookkeeper and seeking restitution, Vassallo, owner of Mo’s, A Place for Steaks, 720 N. Plankinton Ave., worked to make sure the Milwaukee restaurant’s bookkeeper was charged criminally for forging checks.

“We’d like to send out a message that it’s not the right thing to do,” Vassallo said of the theft. Vassallo also owns Mo’s Market – A Place for Wine, a wine market/bar at 717 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, and Ten Eleven, a restaurant in the Park East Hotel, Milwaukee.

The employee, Lisa Hillsley, 33, of West Allis was charged Aug. 8 with three counts of forgery. Hillsley forged checks and took bank deposits that she estimated to total between$12,000 and $20,000 according to the criminal complaint in the case.

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CPAs Magnify Their Interest in Forensics

The Wisconsin CPA – Excerpts from Cover Story
By Amy Gaeth, Managing Editor

Many people consider fraud and litigation to be unpleasant business. A growing number of Wisconsin CPAs are willingly getting involved in these areas, however. CPAs’ reputation for financial expertise and integrity has led litigants and attorneys to hire CPAs as expert witnesses and resulted in increased demand for forensic accountants.

Forensic accountants provide expert witness services, damage calculations for contract disputes or lawsuits, audits for insurance fraud or business fraud cases, and business valuations.

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CPA, Detective, or Both?

The Biz – A publication of The Business Journal
By Becca Mader

Tracy Coenen is both a certified public accountant (CPA) and a detective, of sorts. She is a forensic accountant. Looking beyond the numbers, Coenen digs into records, asks questions, forms an opinion and stands by it, testifying in court, if necessary, as an expert witness about what she’s discovered.

Forensic accountants work with the legal and insurance industries to provide damage calculations for contract disputes or lawsuits, search through documents to find or dispute evidence of insurance or business fraud, and calculate and place values on businesses that are being bought or sold or are collecting on an insurance claim.

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Who You Gonna Call? Fraudbusters!

Commerce – Newsletter of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce
By Margaret Kealty

Do you think you’ve been cheated or ripped off? Before you go sprinting off to Judge Judy, you may want to give Tracy Coenen a call. Coenen, a forensic CPA, works with the insurance and legal industries on investigative accounting and litigation support.

In lay terms, Coenen calculates losses in insurance policies or lawsuits. She also helps attorneys with contract litigation and business problems involving money, whether it be theft, fraud or disputes between employers and employees.

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The Gumshoe of CPAs: Forensic Accountants Look Beyond the Financials

Business Journal
By Becca Mader

Like many certified public accountants, Tracy Coenen works with numbers, but her focus is on digging into records, asking questions, looking behind the numbers and finding missing links. She is a sleuth — an accounting sleuth, that is.

Coenen is a forensic accountant and a CPA who started her own forensic accounting consulting business, Tracy L. Coenen S.C., in January 2000. Forensic accountants provide expert witness services, damage calculations for contract disputes or lawsuits, audits for insurance fraud or business fraud cases and business valuations.

“I have always been inquisitive,” said Coenen, 29, whose license plate spells “QUESTNS.” “I like to ask a lot of questions. I always have.”

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Private Eye: Forensic Accountant Dissects Financial Problems for Clients

Small Business Times By Susan Nord Tracy Coenen doesn’t view herself as conventional. “I have a quirky personality,” Coenen says of herself. “And for those people that have known me a long time, they all say, ‘You know, I always knew you’d do something a little bit off the beaten path.’” Off the beaten path … Read more Private Eye: Forensic Accountant Dissects Financial Problems for Clients