The Year in Review at McGovern & Greene LLP
Significant Cases in 2015
Expert Testimony : Craig Greene
Case A: Over 100 plaintiffs in litigation involving fraudulent activities committed by new management and an owner of a large Nevada casino. Following an extensive analysis of millions of transactions; complex computations of damages; and testimony; the judge awarded in excess of $8.3 million in damages to Plaintiffs, as computed by Craig Greene. Presiding judge is currently considering punitive damages, as well.
Case B: Dispute of the findings of a Federal Agency’s contracted forensic accounting firm, in a matter that led to the suspension of funding of a Native American hospital by that Agency. The Federal Court judge ruled in favor of the Hospital and has restored funding by the Agency.
Case C: Defense against an allegation of a fraudulent conspiracy between a CPA firm and its client, resulting in damages to a high profile Las Vegas real estate investor. The matter was settled just prior to trial for a significantly lesser sum than the damages initially requested by the Plaintiff.
Case D: Defense of a businessman accused of mortgage and bank fraud by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, following an extensive investigation by the FBI. An intensive analysis by Craig Greene resulted in the rebuttal of a substantial portion of the Government’s financial claims. The businessman was convicted by a Federal Judge, but only sentenced to time served consisting of one day.
Litigation: Jim McGovern
Expert Testimony Case: Lost earnings for the defendants in a medical malpractice case which resulted in a $0 damages award.
Government Termination for Convenience Case : Jim McGovern and Jack Lazarczyk assisted multiple Afghani construction companies with successful resolution of US Army Corps of Engineers projects terminated for convenience in Afghanistan. Using their expertise, they helped navigate the Federal Acquisition Regulations and Cost Principles to maximize contractor recovery and prepared and negotiated settlements in excess of $3.8M.
McGovern & Greene LLP Flourishing Practice Areas
Corporate Compliance Services – McGovern & Greene recently concluded working with a team on a monitorship appointment by the US Department of Justice. The new practice will utilize our talents on building effective compliance programs in many different verticals, in addition to working on corporate internal and workplace investigations.
Insurance Defense - McGovern & Greene has frequently been retained to provide forensic accounting services for a wide range of insurance defense cases, including Staged Auto Accidents; Fraudulent Personal Injury and Business Damage Claims; and CPA Malpractice Suits.
Due Diligence Services – Our firm is expanding in supporting the due diligence and intelligence gathering for private equity firms when considering mergers, acquisitions, or divestitures. Our experience in supporting the investment banking community has provided us with a unique skill set to deliver value to almost any transaction, through thoughtful and experienced investigation.
Reactions to recent corporate scandals have led the public and stakeholders to expect organizations to take a "no fraud tolerance" attitude. Good governance principles demand that an organization's board of directors, or equivalent oversight body, ensure overall high ethical behavior in the organization, regardless of its status as public, private, government, or not-for-profit; its relative size; or its industry.
The board's role is critically important because historically most major frauds are perpetrated by senior management in collusion with other employees. Vigilant handling of fraud cases within an organization sends clear signals to the public, stakeholders, and regulators about the board and management's attitude toward fraud risks and about the organization's fraud risk tolerance.
Sponsored by the The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), this guide provides comprehensive steps for businesses to assess, prevent, detect and take action against fraudulent behavior within their organizations. Download the guide here.
The Serious Fraud Office Annual Report:
AKA Real Fraud across "The Pond"
McGovern & Greene LLP has several clients that have interests in other countries. At times, we are asked for information on fraud prosecutions globally. We offer the following report and excerpts from the United Kingdom's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) which may be of interest to our constituents.
The Serious Fraud Office of the United Kingdom recently released their latest annual report. There are multiple agencies within the United States that have similar charters, but the SFO is also responsible for enforcement of the UK's Anti Bribery Act, similar to our Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. It is interesting to read the charter and the types of crimes prosecuted as there are many similarities. Here is a short excerpt from the report that explains the office and their mission.
"The SFO is an independent non-ministerial Government department responsible for investigating and, where appropriate, prosecuting cases of serious or complex fraud, bribery and corruption. The department forms part of the criminal justice system with jurisdiction in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is headed by the Director, David Green CB QC, who acts under the superintendence of the Attorney General."
The SFO takes on a small number of large cases and these will include cases:
• Where the conduct under investigation undermines UK commercial/financial in general and the City of London in particular;
• Where the actual or potential sums involved are high;
• Where actual or potential harm is significant;
• Where there is a very significant public interest element; and,
• That represent new species of fraud.
You may be able to save more for retirement in 2015
Many retirement plan contribution limits increase slightly in 2015; thus, you may have opportunities to increase your retirement savings:
Other factors may affect how much you can contribute (or how much your employer can contribute on your behalf). For example, income-based limits may reduce or even eliminate your ability to take advantage of IRAs. For more information on how to make the most of your tax-advantaged retirement-saving opportunities in 2015, please contact us.
The American Gaming Association (AGA) released a first-of-its-kind study of the economic impact of the casino gaming industry in its totality. The Associated Press and CNBC have already reported on this groundbreaking new research.
Released as part of AGA's Get to Know Gaming campaign, Oxford Economics found that the U.S. gaming industry:
• Contributes $240 billion— nearly a quarter-trillion—to the U.S.economy, which is equivalent to the total state budgets of New York and Texas combined;
• Supports more than 1.7 million jobs—more than double Washington, D.C.'s total employment—and nearly $74 billion in income;
• Generates $38 billion in tax revenues to local, state and federal governments – enough to pay more than half-a-million teachers' salaries.
Oxford conducted an in-depth analysis on the economic impact, tax revenues and employment figures of commercial casinos, Native American casinos and gaming equipment manufacturers as well as our industry's significant ripple effect, which supports local businesses and communities.
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) release their
2014 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse
The Cost of Occupational Fraud
There is considerable attention paid to determining the overall cost of fraud. Executives want to know how significant the risk of fraud is to their companies, anti-fraud professionals need to justify budgets and satisfy performance metrics and the media and general public are curious about just how much money white-collar criminals are taking us for.
This ACFE report is based on 1,483 cases of occupational fraud, as reported by the Certified Fraud Examiners (CFEs) who investigated them. The analysis of these cases provides valuable lessons about how fraud is committed, how it is detected and how organizations can reduce their vulnerability to this risk. Read the 2014 ACFE Report.