Articles Posted in Certified Fraud Examiner

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While not all Catholic priests decide to take a vow of poverty when they’re ordained, a priest with a 10-acre estate in Williamston that includes six bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, 10 fireplaces, three barns, an indoor swimming pool, and stained-glass windows seems pretty suspicious. And that’s just one of his properties. The priest in question has been maintaining (although allegedly not paying taxes on or properly insuring) other properties for his personal use – all allegedly funded by money that was intended for his parish.

Reverend Jonathan Wehrle, who founded St. Martha Church in Okemos, Michigan, has recently been accused of embezzling more than $5 million from his church, and prosecutors are pointing to his vast estate as evidence of the theft. Wehrle allegedly spent $45,000 on an indoor swimming pool, $55,000 on stained-glass windows, and more than $134,000 on landscaping. According to a statement from the police, bills for the construction and landscaping did on the property match checks written from St. Martha.

Lawrence Nolan, the attorney representing Wehrle in the lawsuit, claimed the priest had an agreement with a bishop that allowed Wehrle to use parish money to fund his private residence. Unfortunately, that bishop is no longer living.

But Andrew Stevens, the assistant prosecutor for Princeton Excess and Surplus Lines Insurance Corporation, which insures the Catholic Diocese of Lansing, Michigan, tells a different story. According to Stevens, Wehrle had maintained almost complete control over the church and its funds since founding it in 1988. Continue reading

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Persons convicted of federal financial crimes who are ordered to pay restitution cannot expect their retirement funds to be off-limits to the government.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that a defendant who committed mail fraud could be required to pay court-ordered restitution out of his retirement account because it was not protected as earned income. (United States v. Rafi Sayyed, No. 16‐2858 (7th Cir. 2017))

Rafi S. pled guilty to federal mail fraud for receiving kickbacks from contractors as an executive for the American Hospital Association. He was ordered to pay $940,000 in restitution to AHA pursuant to the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act. In post-conviction proceedings, the federal government sought to enforce the judgment by accessing some $327,000 in non-exempt funds that Rafi held in two retirement accounts.

Rafi objected on the grounds that the funds were exempt “earnings” subject to the 25-percent garnishment cap of the Consumer Credit Protection Act. The district court found that because Rafi, who was 48 at the time, had the right to withdraw all his funds at will, the funds were not “earnings” exempted under CCPA. Continue reading

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DiTommaso Lubin Austermuehle’s Chicago business trial attorneys have more than two and half decades of experience helping small business clients on unraveling complex business fraud and breach of fiduciary duty cases. We work with skilled forensic accountants and certified fraud examiners to help recover monies missappropriated from our clients. Our Chicago and Oak Brook based business, commercial, and class-action litigation attorneys and lawyers represent individuals, family businesses and enterprises of all sizes in a variety of legal disputes, including disputes among partners and shareholders as well as lawsuits between businesses and and consumer rights, auto fraud, and wage claim individual and class action cases. In every case, our goal is to resolve disputes as quickly and sucessfully as possible, helping business clients protect their investments and get back to business as usual. From offices in Oak Brook, near Schaumburg, and Aurora, we serve clients throughout Illinois and the Midwest.

If you’re facing a business or class-action lawsuit, or the possibility of one, and you’d like to discuss how the experienced Illinois business dispute attorneys and lawyers at DiTommaso Lubin Austermuehle can help, we would like to hear from you. To set up a consultation with one of our Lake Forest and Kenilworth business law attorneys and class action and consumer trial lawyers, please call us toll-free at 1-877-990-4990 or contact us through the Internet.

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The online magazine of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners is a great resouce for tips on uncovering the varying forms of business fraud. You can click here to view it.

A recent issue of the magazine had a very informative article about how certain types of documents are susceptible to employee forgies and other frauds . The article had this to say about fax invoices:

FACSIMILE DOCUMENTS

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DiTommaso Lubin Austermuehle’s Chicago business trial lawyers have more than two and half decades of experience helping business clients on unraveling complex business fraud and breach of fiduciary duty cases. We work with skilled forensic accountants and certified fraud examiners to help recover monies missappropriated from our clients. Our Chicago business, commercial, and class-action litigation lawyers represent individuals, family businesses and enterprises of all sizes in a variety of legal disputes, including disputes among partners and shareholders as well as lawsuits between businesses and and consumer rights, auto fraud, and wage claim individual and class action cases. In every case, our goal is to resolve disputes as quickly and sucessfully as possible, helping business clients protect their investements and get back to business as usual. From offices in Oak Brook, near Wuakegan, Aurora, Highland Park, Wilmette, Elmhurst, and Chicago, we serve clients throughout Illinois and the Midwest.

If you’re facing a business or class-action lawsuit, or the possibility of one, and you’d like to discuss how the experienced Illinois business dispute attorneys at DiTommaso Lubin Austermuehle can help, we would like to hear from you. To set up a consultation with one of our Chicago, Joliet, Waukegan, Wheaton, or Naperville business trial attorneys and class action and consumer trial lawyers, please call us toll-free at 1-877-990-4990 or contact us through the Internet.

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Below is a video by a forensic accountant and certified fraud examiner discussing common forms of fraud that cause losses to businesses. The video provides solutions to protecting your business from fraud.

DiTommaso Lubin Austermuehle’s Chicago business trial lawyers have more than two and half decades of experience helping business clients on unraveling complex business fraud and breach of fiduciary duty cases. We work with skilled forensic accountants and certified fraud examiners to help recover monies missappropriated from our clients. Our Chicago business, commercial, and class-action litigation lawyers represent individuals, family businesses and enterprises of all sizes in a variety of legal disputes, including disputes among partners and shareholders as well as lawsuits between businesses and and consumer rights, auto fraud, and wage claim individual and class action cases. In every case, our goal is to resolve disputes as quickly and sucessfully as possible, helping business clients protect their investements and get back to business as usual. From offices in Oak Brook, near Wheaton, Naperville, Evanston, and Chicago, we serve clients throughout Illinois and the Midwest.

If you’re facing a business or class-action lawsuit, or the possibility of one, and you’d like to discuss how the experienced Illinois business dispute attorneys at DiTommaso Lubin Austermuehle can help, we would like to hear from you. To set up a consultation with one of our Chicago, Wheaton, Elmhurst, Geneva, Aurora, Elgin, Rockford or Naperville business trial attorneys and class action and consumer trial lawyers, please call us toll-free at 1-877-990-4990 or contact us through the Internet.

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One of the best websites to learn about consumer law issues and to find lawyers who focus on consumer rights issues is the website of the National Association of Consumer Advocates.

The website contains numerous links to sections on Auto Fraud, Lemon Law, Predatory Lending Practices, Credit Reporting Problems and Debt Collection Abuse.

Class action lawsuits our firm has been involved in or spear-headed have led to substantial awards totalling over a million dollars to organizations including the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the National Consumer Law Center, and local law school consumer programs. DiTommaso Lubin Austermuehle is proud of our achievements in assisting national and local consumer rights organizations obtain the funds needed to ensure that consumers are protected and informed of their rights. By standing up to consumer fraud and consumer rip-offs, and in the right case filing consumer protection lawsuits and class-actions you too can help ensure that other consumers’ rights are protected from corporate misdeeds.

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New guidelines for fighting fraud have just been released by three leading professional organizations. “Managing the Business Risk of Fraud: A Practical Guide” is sponsored by the ACFE, The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Principles for establishing effective fraud risk management, regardless of the type or size of an organization, are outlined in the guide.

Download “Managing the Business Risk of Fraud”

Our commercial litgation attorneys work closely with auditors, accountants, forensic accountants and certified fraud examiners to determine the extent of the damages your business has suffered due to fraud. We bring suit to recover the lost funds. Our experienced business and commercial litigation attorneys with offices in or near Naperville, Wheaton, Oak Brook and Chicago have helped businesses and individuals recover substantial losses in individual or class action lawsuits arising from business fraud by vendors, employees and others. To review a summary of the business and fraud lawsuits we have handled click here. To contact us for a free consultation about business fraud or other business litigation issues fill out the form on the left side of this blog or click here.

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As Chicago business, shareholder rights and commercial law litigators, we frequently handle cases involving allegations of business fraud or financial mismanagement, often as part of complex business dispute, that require significant expertise in financial issues. When handling a divorce involving a family business or other closely held company, we also sometimes find we need an expert’s help properly valuing the business, so we can help our clients get the most equitable possible distribution of marital property.

Our Chicago, Oak Brook, Wheaton and Naperville business trial attorneys have handled many complex business and commecial law litigation matters which have involved presenting or cross-examining accounting witnesses.

While we’re confident in our legal skills, these situations call for specialized financial skills. To give our clients the best possible representation in business, shareholder and other commercial disputes, we sometimes retain a forensic accountant or fraud examiner. Both of these jobs are twofold: They help attorneys and their clients understand the complex financial aspects of their cases, and they may also be called to testify as expert witnesses. A forensic accountant’s job is to examine a person or corporation’s accounts “cold,” from the outside; the subject isn’t generally expected to cooperate. Similarly, a fraud examiner delves deep into a company’s finances, looking for the source of anything that seems inconsistent or suspicious. Both can serve as expert witnesses who help establish the value of a business or testify to the existence of fraud.