We are skilled in identifying, investigating and assessing fraud and specialize in providing best practices and training platforms to help spot and eliminate irregularities within companies.
Financial fraud and corruption within a company can cause significant damage. At its worst – the ultimate corporate collapse — a company will go bankrupt. Bernie Madoff comes to mind. So does biotech wonderkind, Theranos.
From a $9 billion valuation to $0, the diagnostics startup headed by CEO Elizabeth Holmes fraudulently raised over $700 million from outside investors. In 2018, Holmes and former Theranos president, Ramesh Balwani, were charged by the SEC with fraud. Investors in Theranos lost over $1 billion.
Cendant is an older example of rogue financial fraud. Accounting irregularities were discovered in 1998 after the company’s CEO, Walter Forbes, overstated the company’s earnings by more than $250 million.
Upon further investigation, it was discovered that the management team had been preparing false business statements for a number of years. Forbes was forced to resign. In 2001, he and Kirk Shelton, another top executive, were indicted by a federal grand jury and sued by the SEC. Forbes was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Shelton was sentenced to 10 years but got off early for good behavior.
There are no shortages of examples where a company has suffered a major setback in their stock price or gone into bankruptcy due to internal accounting irregularities or external fraud. And, as the examples of Holmes and Madoff illustrate, a single rogue employee can subject your company to significant criminal or civil liability and business-draining lawsuits.
When financial misconduct is suspected, fast and accurate risk assessments and associated correction are crucial to your company’s well-being. Most smaller firms or organizations do not have in-house financial or risk management departments and that’s where we come in.
Altomonte Advisory Group’s expert team of professional consultants have successfully worked or directed hundreds of internal and external financial investigations throughout the United States.
If you suspect fraudulent activity — misappropriated or misdirected funds, theft, embezzlement, foreign corrupt practices, large scale slippage or other business misconduct, let us help you by performing an independent, confidential and timely investigation.
If your company needs help on a proactive basis, we can perform a review of your operations to identify weaknesses and implement controls to prevent fraudulent activity from occurring in the future.
Based on the results of our assessment and professional examination, we will develop controls and integrity measures to prevent future instances of fraudulent activity and protect your firm’s financial health.
False Claims – Whistleblower Assessments
Contractors that do business with the Federal Government are required to accurately complete all of their contractual obligations with the government. Failure to provide specified services or products required under the terms of the contract could be a violation of the False Claims Act.
A company or individual that submits false claims to the Federal Government can be charged civilly or criminally, be required to reimburse the government and pay significant penalties. If you, as an employee or outsider, know of a company that is violating the terms of their contract with the Federal Government, you may be eligible to a significant financial reward under the False Claims Act (FCA).
When you file an FCA case, you are helping the government fight fraud, waste and abuse in their programs. Thousands of individuals file FCA cases annually on behalf of the government as whistleblowers. These claims are sealed, allowing the government time to investigate and intervene on your behalf.
Examples of False Claims
FCA cases can result in millions of dollars of recovery to the government.
According to a Department of Justice Official Press Release dated December 21, 2018: The Department of Justice obtained more than $2.8 billion in settlements and judgments from civil cases involving fraud and false claims against the government in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2018.
Of the total, $2.5 billion claims were healthcare industry related. Perpetrators included medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and medical and managed care providers — hospitals, labs, hospice care facilities or doctors over billing or submitting false information to Medicare.
Erroneous billing is not the only way the government is defrauded. Manufacturers can replace an expensive product with a cheaper or less effective product than that required by the terms of the contract in order to reduce costs to the contractor. Or a contractor might be billing additional work hours to receive funds that they are not entitled to from the government.
The Altomonte Advisory Group team has investigated a significant number of false claims while working for the Federal Government. As former federal agents, we have extensive insight into what type of information is needed as well as the kinds of cases the U.S. Government generally accepts for prosecution. These claims have resulted in hundreds of millions in recoveries to the Federal Government and significant financial rewards to whistleblowers who could receive up to 30% of recovered funds.
If you are aware of a false or ongoing claim being filed against the Federal Government, please contact us. Our knowledgeable investigators will review your claim with our legal team. Then, we will give you a fair assessment of your potential reward — at no cost to you. If the prosecution is successful, you could receive a significant financial reward for bringing the false claim action.
Businesses and law firms often require assistance with pending litigation. At these times, they can utilize Altomonte Advisory Group’s financial expertise and accounting support. As former federal investigators, we have conducted thousands of interviews with witnesses and defendants while pursuing federal investigations. We have reviewed and summarized volumes of financial records, medical records, and emails for use in trials. Our team members are skilled in culling through volumes of subpoenaed and discovery documents to find the smallest detail that can make or break a case open.
Our team of experts include former federal auditors able to provide financial expertise including witness testimony by a Certified Public Accountant. If your business or firm needs help with a specific aspect of your litigation, or if you require assistance on a large-scale project, we are here to help.
We promise accuracy, thoroughness and timeliness on your project.
Regulatory Compliance Reviews & Audits
Is your company prepared if faced with a regulatory investigation? Or if you suspect fraudulent internal activity? Unless you have a team of specialists in-house, the answer is probably no.
It is extremely difficult for internal compliance employees to conduct independent reviews and audits of their colleagues. In fact, there have been more than a few instances where a corporation’s internal compliance team has avoided disclosing findings that ultimately caused significant financial issues and embarrassment for a company.
Our compliance team members, headed by a former federal auditor, have conducted internal compliance reviews and audits of federal agencies for decades. Such audits and recommendations have saved the Federal Government hundreds of millions of dollars. We bring these sophisticated capabilities to your business, guiding your response to regulatory investigations.
We can determine if your employees are complying with internal policies, federal rules and regulations and laws. Once we’ve conducted a compliance review and deficiencies are identified, we can help prevent future vulnerabilities by guiding you through the preparation of new modified policies and/or controls.
Federal Employee Investigations and Discipline
Altomonte Advisory Group’s legal team and advisors can help federal employees regarding administrative and legal matters involving their employment. This includes proposed disciplinary actions, formal appeals to Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), Federal Investigations by the Inspector General and other types of federal personnel issues.
Employee and Applicant Background Reviews
For positions that involve access to sensitive processes, procedures or materials, you want to be certain you’re making informed hiring decisions.
Formerly responsible for overseeing and adjudicating hundreds of background investigations and top-secret clearances for U.S. Government employees, including federal law enforcement officers, Altomonte Advisory Group team members bring vast security screening experience to your company.
Concerned about possible fraud activity? In addition to qualifying new hires, we can assist you with independent background assessments of current employees. We will help you make informed assessments as to whether or not an employee should be retained or removed from employment.
Fraud and Compliance Awareness
Fraud training helps employees mitigate financial losses by learning how to spot red flags or large-scale frauds, possibly saving a company millions of dollars.
Employees are your company’s front line for detecting fraud. So it’s important to provide your employees with the proper training in order to identify security lapses and/or irregularities.
The best way to do that? Bring in our fraud investigation professionals to train your employees how to detect and report fraud.
Altomonte Advisory Group provides on-site customized fraud training, including strategies for detection, prevention, response and planning – all designed to fit your organization’s needs. We can also conduct independent reviews of your compliance or fraud group to help them modify their approach to better identify security soft spots.
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