Divorce is considered to be one of the most stressful events that people may encounter in their lifetime, even more so if there is significant hostility between the spouses. As a result of the adversarial nature of divorce, the parties involved might behave irrationally or even vindictively, especially when it comes to their finances. There is the possibility that one or both spouses may not be entirely forthcoming or truthful about their financial situation during litigation. During divorce settlements, common areas of concern are undisclosed assets or the understatement of income, but another potential fraud area that should be considered is the dissipation of marital assets.
A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) financial expert can provide valuable assistance to attorneys throughout the discovery phase of a litigation case. Cases involving economic damages often depend on documents to establish or disprove the amount of the plaintiff’s damages. A financial expert gathers, analyzes and evaluates information from documents to calculate damages, and to provide expert testimony opining as to the amount of damages. When is the right time to hire your CPA expert? The answer is simple: sooner rather than later. Let’s consider why.
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This is the story of a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) whose diligent review of his sporting goods retailer’s monthly operations resulted in the discovery of employee theft.
I recently attended the PAMIC (PA Association of Mutual Insurance Companies) Claims Summit held in Gettysburg, PA, and served on a panel that discussed the appraisal of insurance claim disputes.
Frankly, it was a disaster that could have been avoided. “Stan” the buyer was hell bent on making the purchase, the bank was pushing for the seller’s financials, and on the surface the deal and the business looked solid. So instead of a comprehensive and insightful due diligence process, all Stan wanted was a rubber stamp from the lawyers and accountants that would trigger the loan.
As a Certified Fraud Examiner, I have investigated hundreds of employee embezzlements that occurred at small businesses. Many of those embezzlements were committed by bookkeepers through disbursement fraud schemes.