Alleged Extortion of Pastor John Collins by Crystal Cox

crystal-cox-will-extort-youWorld famous extortionist Crystal Cox is allegedly at it again! Cox is most well known for her attack on Kevin Padrick and Obsidian Finance, which resulted in a $2.5 million judgment against her. But the fun didn’t stop there…

Crystal L. Cox intended to file an appeal in the case, tried to rope Attorney Marc Randazza into helping her cause, which ended (well, not really ended) with Cox extorting Randazza and his family. Of course, this wasn’t her first extortion attempt, as she did the exact same thing to Padrick and Obsidian Finance.

Her extortion scam is simple: Write horrible untrue things about business owners on the internet, then ask for money in order to clean up the mess Cox herself made. Call it all “online reputation management services” and ask for a “fee for services” and everything is kosher. Unless you’re on the receiving end of Cox’s extortion attempts.

Income Tax Information Used in Family Law Cases

This article was originally printed in the ABA Section of Family Law eNewsletter, February 2014.

Income tax returns and supporting information such as W-2s and pay stubs are the most common and basic documents which evidence income in family law cases. This article discusses the sources of income that are disclosed on a personal income tax return (Form 1040), and some ways the items can be evaluated to search for hidden income and hidden assets.

  • Wages – The figures reported on the income tax return should be matched to the W-2. The W-2 and the pay stubs will provide additional information on the employers, pay rates, total pay, certain benefits, and taxes withheld. Additional analysis may include tracing bank deposits to ensure that all wages were used for the benefit of the family.
  • Taxable Interest and Tax Exempt Interest – These items of income must be considered when calculating income available for support. They are also important because they can point to bank, investment, and brokerage accounts that may not have been specifically disclosed in the family law case.

How a Lifestyle Analysis Can Be Used in a Divorce Case

A lifestyle analysis is the process of tabulating and analyzing the income and expenses of the parties. The lifestyle analysis is then used to determine the standard of living of the parties, which will influence support calculations, and possibly property division.

Calculating the lifestyle of the spouses prior to separation can provide insight into the lifestyle the married couple enjoyed and the cost of that lifestyle, as well as the income that was or is required to fund the lifestyle of the married couple. The results may be used to prove a spouse’s financial needs following divorce. In other words, a detailed analysis of the spending during the marriage can be the basis to calculate the funding the spouse needs to maintain a similar lifestyle after divorce.

Kevin Trudeau Is On His Way to Prison!

kevin-trudeau-goes-to-prisonHabitual criminal Kevin Trudeau is ending up exactly where he belongs…. in prison! Trudeau has a lengthy history of legal problems. He spent 2 years in prison in the 1990s for credit card fraud. In 1996 he settled charges that he was operating an illegal pyramid scheme called Nutrition for Life. In 1998, Trudeau was fined $500,000 for making false claims in infomercials.

Then came Trudeau’s book The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About. The problem was that he misled consumers with his infomercials, making them think his weight loss book would show them an easy weight loss method which allowed them to eat whatever they wanted when they were done. But the diet was not simple. It required colonics performed by a licensed practitioner and injection of a human growth hormone, and it never really ended. Dieters really couldn’t eat whatever they wanted, because the book said they should only eat organic food and avoid brand name foods, fast food, and meals at chain restaurants.

More on the Tim Sykes Millionaire Trading Challenge

steal-moneyIn the last couple of days, I have had an email exchange with a purported journalist who is interested in the Timothy Sykes Millionaire Trading Challenge. Because I’ve written about Tim’s Trading Challenge before, he wanted to ask me some questions. The writer is interested in doing a negative piece on Tim and students, and since I’m a forensic accountant in the trading challenge, he thought I could provide some information.

He wanted to know if I have done a formal investigation of Tim Sykes, have reviewed his brokerage statements to verify his trades, or verified the returns of Tim’s students. The answer to all of these questions is NO. Why have I not investigated Tim and his students? No one has retained me to do so.

Why Retain a Forensic Accountant in Your Divorce Case?

divorce financial analysisOne of the hot new things in the area of divorce, especially for high net worth clients, is using a law firm that has forensic accountants on staff. Sometimes the divorce attorneys themselves have credentials in the area of forensic accounting, such as a CPA license, CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner) credential, or CFF (Certified in Financial Forensics) credential.

These law firms tout a number of advantages of retaining them:

  • Expertise in financial matters, including business valuations, tax law, and forensic accounting
  • Ability to investigate the value of financial assets
  • Skills necessary to perform a lifestyle analysis

Fail to Educate Children, Get a $7.1 Million Bonus Courtesy of the Taxpayers

In what may be a flipping of the bird to Milwaukee taxpayers… Gregory Thornton, outgoing superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools gave out $7.1 million in bonuses. $3.5 million of the loot was given to support and administrative staff in January, and $3.6 million is being given to teachers and psychologists in March. This is considered a bonus for employees, which Thornton said is to thank them for their hard work.

I have ranted at length in the past about MPS, its failure to educate students, its highly compensated teachers, and wide scale waste of resources. Despite sky-high spending per child in MPS, the district still fails to educate the children. In 2013, less than half of 4th graders and 8th graders tested proficient in math and less than half were proficient in reading. Waaaay less than half.  (And lest you buy the phony argument that the poor results are simply because these are urban kids, know that other urban school districts do quite well at educating children.)

So yes, the fact that the majority of students in MPS cannot read or do math certainly means that the administration and staff should get bonuses funded by taxpayers! That was sarcasm, in case you missed it.

The Forensic Accountant as Consultant

Family Advocate – ABA Section of Family Law Magazine
Winter 2014

By Tracy L. Coenen

Download a pdf of this article here.

Forensic accountants are usually retained in family law cases as expert witnesses, with the intention that they will provide expert opinions and testimony on behalf of the client. Although retention as a consultant is less common, it is an important option to consider. Sometimes, the work of the consultant can be even more important than the work of the testifying expert. The consultant may be able to dig deeper into sensitive issues because there is no fear of testimony or of disclosing the consultant’s work.

Maintaining privilege
One of the biggest benefits to retaining a consultant is the fact that the consultant’s communications and work product enjoy privilege. Because the consultant is essentially an extension of the law firm, the identity of the consultant, the scope of work, the evidence examined, and the results of the work need not be disclosed to opposing counsel. (Note that documents examined by the consultant may very well need to be disclosed as part of the discovery process, but the consultant’s work or impressions of the documents should not be disclosed.)

Red Flags of Fraud in Divorce

This article was originally printed in the ABA Section of Family Law eNewsletter, January 2014.

The vast majority of family law cases are settled without trials. However, a client should not enter into a voluntary settlement if there are significant concerns about the truth of the financial disclosures and indications that assets or income may be hidden. The first step in determining whether a forensic accountant is needed to evaluate the finances of the parties is the identification of “red flags” of fraud. A red flag is simply a warning sign or an unusual item or circumstance.

Attorneys often use their instinct to determine when a forensic accountant is needed in a family law case. If something does not feel right, it probably should be investigated.  A client is often suspicious of the spouse even before they are separated. The spouse may even be known to manipulate the money.

Sharon’s Wig Salon Warning

Are you considering doing business with Sharon’s Wig Salon in Brookfield, Wisconsin? Think again. Here is a brain tumor patient’s horrific experience with owner Sharon Heyden. It is bad enough that Sharon and her employee treated Alison Ziebell (a mother who is undergoing radiation treatments and is in need of a wig) poorly from a customer service standpoint. But when Alison decided to leave the store (since they didn’t want to actually help her find a wig she liked), she says that Sharon stated:

Good luck, I hope ALL your hair falls out.

Why would anyone say that to a young woman shopping for a wig…. who quite possibly might be on the verge of her hair falling out due to her medical condition????

Good luck, Sharon Heyden of Sharon’s Wig Salon. I hope your business fails when the world finds out what a horrible human being you are.

Expert Fraud Investigation
Lifestyle Analysis in Divorce Cases
CPA's Handbook of Fraud and Commercial Crime Prevention
Essentials of Corporate Fraud
© 2013 Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting. All rights reserved. View our privacy policy here.