01 Feb

Top Ways Fraud is Detected in Companies

Tracy Coenen talks to a group of CPAs about the top ways fraud is detected within companies. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) conducts a survey of its members every two years. It consistently finds that tips from employees, customers, and vendors most commonly uncover fraud within companies.

But after that, management review of financial statements and account balances and reconciliations is a very effective technique. The internal audit function can also be very effective at helping to uncover fraud at companies. Sadly, many internal frauds are also uncovered by accident.

09 Oct

The Face of Forensic Accounting

Tracy Coenen recently appeared in Milwaukee Magazine’s Faces of Milwaukee feature.

When you need to find lost or hidden money, forensic accountant Tracy Coenen is the detective you want on your side. She doesn’t just add up the numbers, she digs into the details to find out what really happened with the money and who has it.

Consider her a financial crime fighter: part accountant, part fraud investigator. Tracy utilizes background checks, spreadsheets, and financial paper trails to trace money through a complex web of entities and accounts. She uses these tools and more to investigate cases of corporate fraud and embezzlement, calculate damages in business deals gone bad, and help divorcing spouses figure out how to divide the money equitably.

It’s a task Tracy isn’t afraid to take on as she uncovers deals made in the dark and brings them to light. Companies find out who within their own trusted network took their money and how the crime was committed.

Divorcing spouses find money that was hidden and receive a fair share of the assets. Along with being a Certified Public Accountant, Tracy is certified in financial forensics, has a degree in criminology, and holds a Master of Business Administration. She has written four books on forensic accounting and fraud investigation, and has taught numerous forensic accounting courses to accountants and attorneys. More importantly, Tracy has gotten her hands dirty making sense of complicated financial situations for everyone from jilted spouses to ripped-off investors.

It’s a thankless job sometimes, being the one to reveal betrayal and deceit and outright fraud, but for Tracy, it’s a life dedicated to living in the truth, and finding it by any means necessary.

03 Oct

Evaluating Businesses for Divorce: Using the General Ledger

When a divorce involves a business, we often ask for a copy of the general ledger, which is part of the company’s accounting records. The general ledger includes the details of transactions for a specified period of time. What can we find in the general ledger? Tracy Coenen explains in this video:

21 Sep

Net Worth Method of Proof: Calculating Income in Divorce Cases

In divorce cases, forensic accountants can use the “net worth method of proof” to calculate income. This is used to search for hidden or unreported income. Rather than simply taking a spouse’s word for it that his or her income is X, we can do an analysis like this to try to verify the claimed income.

This method of proof is one part of a lifestyle analysis, in which we are analyzing the party’s lifestyle and determining if that lifestyle matches the income that is being reported. This video explains the process of completing the net worth analysis.

30 May

Crystal Cox v. The Internet Dismissed in Eastern District of Wisconsin

extortionCrystal Cox, extortionist and vexatious litigant, has been slapped down by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. On May 13, 2013, Cox filed a complaint in federal court against me,  and against a bunch of fine people (WIPO, Peter Michaelson, Marc Randazza, Kashmir Hill, Forbes, Kevin Padrick, David Aman, David Carr, New York Times, Jordan Rushie, Jason Jones, and many others).

The incomprehensible complaint in the case of Crystal Cox v. The Internet alleged defamation, civil rights violations, copyright infringement, civil conspiracy, racketeering (RICO), causation and remoteness, duty of care, negligence tort, tampering with a witness, tortious interference with business, anti-trust laws. Crystal Cox took 124 pages to ramble about vast conspiracies involving trillions of dollars and many bad, bad acts by many bad, bad people.

Most notably, Crystal claims that THE INTERNETS DEFAMED HER when they referred to her as an extortionist. Because who could possibly get the idea that Crystal Cox was extorting people when she flooded the internet with defamatory material about them, and then offered to remove the material (reputation management services, people!) for a nominal fee of $2,500 per month into infinity???? Read More