You Have the Data, Now What?

Standard

Many of the cases I work currently focus on the tracing of funds through multiple bank, brokerage, and credit card accounts. I am typically working with tens of thousands of transactions at a time, so the sheer volume of the data could be overwhelming.

I have put together a proprietary software system that enables me to capture manage, and analyze the data. The system eliminates the need for staff assistance (and the dangers that go along with having multiple people touch the database and possibly corrupt the data). How does the system work? Read on.

Getting the Data

The process of discovery can be long and agonizing for everyone.  There is often a push and pull between the parties in the discovery process, as opposing counsel rarely wants to voluntarily give up damaging financial data.  It often takes several rounds of requests to get the information we seek. Continue reading

Ways to Help Prevent Corporate Fraud

Standard

Executives have the means to commit and cover up the largest frauds. They have access to the information and computer systems, they have power over all employees and they have access to the money. The finance function is riddled with fraud risks and the company’s executives are in the best position to take advantage of those risks.

Because of the risk of losing large sums of money to fraud by executives, companies must ensure owners and boards of directors are actively involved in creating and maintaining an environment that is not conducive to fraud. This involves active oversight of daily operations, continuous monitoring of potential red flags of fraud and swift action when fraud is discovered. Continue reading

MLM Lawyer Kevin Grimes Pays $1.175 Million to Settle ZeekRewards Claims

Standard

Last year, infamous “MLM Lawyer” Kevin Grimes was sued by the receiver in the Zeek Rewards Ponzi scheme case. The gist of the suit was that Grimes knew or should have known that Zeek Rewards “…was perpetrating an unlawful scheme which involved a pyramid scheme, an unregistered investment contract and/or a Ponzi scheme.” The lawsuit alleged that Kevin Grimes and his firm Grimes & Reese PLLC  (that firm is now R&R Law Group, while Grimes has joined the scumbag MLM attorneys at Thompson & Burton) knew that ZeekRewards was perpetrating a Ponzi scheme and provided the company with a bogus “compliance program” meant to make the company look legitimate.

The case has been settled, and Grimes will pay $1.175 to the receiver. Via Patrick Pretty: Continue reading

The Golden Era of White Collar Crime

Standard

sam-antar-crazy-eddieSam Antar is a legend in the fraud industry. He was the CFO of Crazy Eddie, an electronics retailer which pulled off (for a time!) a massive fraud in the 1980’s. He was interviewed by CNNMoney while attending the New Jersey securities fraud summit as a keynote speaker.

Antar said during the interview:

“We are in the golden era of white-collar crime. My biggest regret is I should’ve been a criminal today rather than 20 years ago.”

Continue reading

MillerCoors Fraud: Embezzlement by Executives Colluding With Vendors

Standard

millercoors-fraudLast week MillerCoors filed suit against 14 individuals and 15 companies, alleging over $10 million was stolen from the company. The claims include civil theft, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, civil conspiracy and racketeering. Former MillerCoors executives David Colletti (vice president of on-premise marketing) and Paul Edwards (director of on-premise channel marketing) are accused of masterminding the fraud for a period of at least 13 years.

The alleged fraud is a billing scheme, in which the company made fraudulent disbursements. One component of the fraud was a shell company scheme.  The lawsuit claims that David Colletti and Pamela Colletti created a fake company which billed MillerCoors for goods and services never provided. The other component was an overbilling scheme, in which legitimate companies billed MillerCoors for goods and services not received. The participants in the schemes allegedly shared the funds paid by MillerCoors. Continue reading

Stopping Fraud Before It Starts

Standard

My idea of a good time: Digging through boxes of documents for hours on end, looking for that smoking gun that proves an employee was stealing from a business.

An attorney’s idea of a good time: Going to court with the expert witness who proved the employee was stealing, and burying the guilty party with a verdict in favor of the client.

The client’s idea of a good time: Having employees who don’t steal from the business in the first place.

Let’s face it, dealing with employee theft is no picnic. And while I certainly don’t mind making a living busting thieves, it’s always disheartening to see business owners put in a bind because of someone’s sticky fingers. Continue reading