Forensic Accounting & Investigative Services
Forensic Accounting is a core capability of the Credibility International team, many of whom are CPAs, Certified in Financial Forensics, and Certified Fraud Examiners, with strong accounting and auditing backgrounds. The senior members of our team have been performing internal investigations for over 25 years and have been involved with numerous high profile accounting fraud and accounting dispute matters. We are frequently retained by company management and audit committees, and work closely with outside counsel. The results of our investigations are commonly presented to SEC staff and external auditors.
We are also frequently retained to assist parties in disputes where liability and/or damages are based on accounting and financial reporting information. Many of these engagements include serving as expert witnesses in litigation and arbitration cases.
We design investigative procedures that fit the particular allegations and related risks. We have years of experience making the risk-based judgments necessary to set a proper scope that ensures an effective, efficient, and timely investigation. This approach results in cost effective, yet thorough forensic investigations that have historically satisfied regulators, boards, and other key stakeholders.
We are experts in a wide array of forensic investigation and litigation matters related to alleged accounting and financial reporting irregularities, fraud and embezzlement matters, M&A transaction disputes and auditor malpractice.
Accounting and Financial Reporting Investigations
Credibility is frequently called upon to perform investigations to evaluate compliance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Accounting issues commonly involved include: (1) revenue recognition (channel stuffing, long-term contracts, multiple element arrangements, nonmonetary transactions, and bill and hold transactions); (2) inventory valuation; (3) capitalization of costs; (4) impairment of goodwill and other long-lived assets; (5) judgmental accruals; (6) contingencies; (7) equity-based compensation; and (8) acquisition accounting. Representative example projects of our team include the following:
- Performed an internal investigation in connection with an SEC and DOJ investigation of a Fortune 50 industrial company. The accounting and financial reporting issues involved billions of dollars in revenue recognition under long-term service contracts.
- Performed an investigation of revenue recognition and related disclosures in connection with an SEC investigation of a well-known specialty apparel company. The project involved evaluating sales transactions at the end of quarters for compliance with GAAP.
- Assisted counsel in defending the former Accounting Manager of a technology company accused of accounting fraud related to revenue recognition and capitalization of costs.
Fraud and Other Forensic Accounting Investigations
Our professionals have extensive experience in fraud, bribery/corruption and embezzlement matters, assisting a variety of stakeholders in identifying and understanding the financial and accounting aspects of various fraud schemes. Our professionals have led numerous matters including the following:
- Serving as an expert witness on behalf of the US Department of Justice regarding asset tracing over a 25-year period in connection with the sought forfeiture of $133 million held in foreign investment accounts that emanated from fraud schemes perpetrated by a former ruler of Nigeria.
- Supported a feeder/hedge fund investor group and its top executive regarding investments it had with Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, including forensic accounting, damages, transactional and reporting analyses and on-site support during various arbitration hearings.
- Testified as expert in numerous international arbitrations regarding allegations of:
i. Bribery or corruption including the tracing of funds and examination of the recording or the transactions of the books of the various entities. The analysis often involved the identification of related parties and connections to government officials.
ii. Self-dealing and improper related party transactions used to misappropriate funds, evade taxes and/or misrepresent the financial condition of a business.
iii. Transfer pricing schemes designed to evade taxes and/or move cash out of the reach of creditors.
M&A Transaction Disputes
Our team frequently works on behalf of buyers and sellers, and serves as a neutral accountant in post-acquisition transaction disputes, including purchase price adjustments and earn-outs. These disputes typically involve accounting issues such as valuation of accounts receivable and inventory, estimated accruals, contingency reserves and the timing of revenue and expense recognition. Example engagements include the following:
- Served as an accounting expert in defending against a $1.4 billion working capital adjustment claimed by the buyer of the generics business of a major pharmaceutical company.
- Assisted the sellers of a medical lab in obtaining a substantial earnout payment in a dispute over revenue recognition for COVID-19 testing.
- Served as an accounting expert in a $750 million post-transaction dispute involving percentage of completion and other accounting issues for a company involved in the construction of nuclear power plants.
Our experience as former auditors, forensic investigators and seasoned expert witnesses uniquely qualifies us to assist in the defense of audit firms in investigation and litigation matters. Relevant experiences include the following:
- Served as rebuttal expert on liability, causation, and damages on behalf of a major audit firm.
- Assisted management, and in-house and outside counsel in the investigation and subsequent defense of the audits of a bankrupt publicly traded company.
- Served as expert identifying the root causes of the insolvency of a health insurer that were independent of any actions of the auditor.
We use our accounting and investigation skills to bear in serving as expert witnesses in cases involving shareholder disputes, breach of contract claims and other accounting and financial matters. We excel at articulating these complex topics clearly and concisely in expert reports and testimony before judges, juries, and arbitrators. Representative cases include the following:
- Serving as an accounting expert witness in defense of several shareholder suits brought against an aerospace company alleging accounting fraud related to impairments of long-lived assets and revenue recognition on long-term contracts.
- Expert witness engagement on behalf of a US bank in defense of a claim brought in connection with the Stanford Ponzi scheme.
- Served as an expert witness in a breach of fiduciary duty and fraud in the inducement claim brought related to a failed hedge fund.