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The term “forensic” refers to the application of scientific methods and techniques in the investigation of a crime or a legal issue. Forensic accounting is often required when an issue is being litigated and a financial argument needs to be decided in a court of law.

SobelCo’s forensic accountants specialize in unraveling financial and compliance challenges for businesses, nonprofits, governmental entities and individuals, using precise processes and a systematic investigation of data.

Our forensic investigations go beyond the numbers to dig deeper, understanding the motivations and opportunities that enable individuals to commit corporate crime. We take pride in educating our clients on how to strengthen their organizations and mindsets to minimize future risk.

When fraud is suspected in any of the situations described below, attorneys and business leaders reach out to the forensic team at SobelCo for assistance.

 Asset Misappropriation and Embezzlement

When business decision-makers suspect that someone within the company is specifically using the prestige of their position, or their accessibility to the company’s assets, to steal from it, they bring their suspicions to their attorneys.

The attorneys know that forensic accountants are the most effective professionals for engagements like these. Their investigative abilities, combined with depth of experience in accounting and financial matters, enables them to conduct efficient investigations, seeking the most pertinent data, with a laser-like focus on the information most relevant to the case.

Corporate Investigations

Any investigation is by definition an activity designed to uncover facts through the application of some kind of detailed procedure. A corporate investigation therefore refers specifically to a business investigation conducted with the expectation or goal of discovering a crime committed by management, employees, or a third party, especially those with access to manipulating the business’ finances.

There are many types of actions that may require a corporate investigation. The SobelCo forensic team is distinctively skilled in financial fraud investigations such as financial statement fraud, asset misappropriation and embezzlement, securities fraud or other corporate/white collar crimes.

Compliance/Integrity Monitoring

The SobelCo team has worked on a number of integrity monitoring assignments, including UMDNJ,    1 World Trade Center, the Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff’s Office, and a major automobile manufacturer. In these types of assignments, our professions typically work with a multidisciplinary team whose members come from different professionals and industries. Monitoring assignments require the team members to utilize their skills collaboratively to identify the root causes of problematic behaviors, policies or processes, make recommendations for improvement, and monitor the outcomes of changes made by the institution.

Due Diligence

In order for a business to successfully reduce the risk associated with fraud, waste, and abuse, it must routinely evaluate the many relationships it relies upon to achieve its financial goals and objectives. Understanding both the risks and the benefits through an ongoing evaluative assessment process as part of a strategic plan to increase value and maintain continuity of business operations is a critical component essential to safeguarding its resources and time.

Business Due Diligence can be conducted as a stand-alone risk mitigation solution to alert clients to red flags for business transactions between individuals and organizations. When investigating risky situations, whether offering support on C-suite executive hiring procedures or providing broader focused e-commerce vendor due diligence services, we can have an integral role in any comprehensive due diligence circumstance.

Business Due Diligence is also required when one organization seeks to acquire another. A deep dive into the financial, manufacturing, corporate, and market details, including clients and customers, should occur prior to the signing of final transition documents. We can provide this service from both a forensic accounting and a business owner point of view.

Dispute Resolutions

We know what a dispute is. Most of us encounter arguments, disagreements, or conflicts with friends, family, business colleagues and others every day. But when the setting involves a business or corporate dispute, then the resolution – or solution – involves more sophisticated negotiation skills. Uniquely trained professionals assist with seeking an outcome that is potentially satisfactory for the parties involved. In the instance of forensics and valuations issues, dispute resolution is the common term that references a range of situations that are likely to be involved, such as matrimonial disputes, corporate disputes, partnership disputes, or other disputes between parties that we can address through litigation, mediation or arbitration.

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Matrimonial Disputes: While a marital dispute may begin as a private family matter, the final solution is usually influenced by the professional and financial complications that arise during disagreements of this nature. Rarely does the discourse take place between the divorcing couple alone. So if the threat of litigation is raised, the negative tone and demands of the situation may quickly evolve to include the need for a forensic accounting expert. Understanding the financial aspects of a marital dispute is extremely important.

Our professionals are regularly retained by attorneys or appointed by the Court to provide expert financial opinions that will hold up to scrutiny in such areas as:

  • Asset Tracing
  • Business Valuation
  • Income Determination
  • Lifestyle Analysis

Corporate and Partnership Disputes: Disagreements sometimes emerge among business owners regarding finances or corporate strategy that may lead to legal action. These matters are often subject to extreme emotion and opposing viewpoints. That’s when SobelCo is at its best. Our experts excel at getting to the bottom of the issues. Whether the dispute stems from abuse of one’s position, shareholder oppression, improper use of business assets, or breach of fiduciary duty, SobelCo has the experience and skills to sift through the noise, deal with the different personalities, and analyze the data to help the parties come to a resolution and move forward. SobelCo can also provide business valuations to determine individual equity value for Subchapter “C” Corporations and Pass-Through Entities.

Damages Calculations

Commercial damages is a broad term that covers many situations where loss occurs in a business environment. These can result in both loss of profits or the reduction in value of a business entity. Here are a few common examples of engagements involving commercial damages where our knowledge and expertise have been particularly useful:

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Breach of Contract: Our professionals are retained by attorneys to calculate the damages of a contract breach. When any business entity or person fails to complete the contract terms, they may be found in a breach of contract. These breaches can include a failure to deliver the goods as promised, failure to pay according to the agreement and the failure to complete a job. The law has designed remedies to make the injured party whole again. It is our job to determine the actual damages caused by that breach, by calculating the present value of the lost profits. All of our comprehensive damage reports contain the background facts, the economic and industry conditions, the economic outlook, the theory and our summary of the damages.

Breach of Non-Compete Agreements: A non-compete agreement is a contract where an employee agrees not to compete with the employer. The non-compete agreement may be for a restrictive time period, a specific location or a particular company upon termination of their employment. If an employee leaves his current business and starts his own business or joins a competitor, while ignoring his non-compete and causes monetary harm to his prior employer, our firm is hired to calculate those damages.

Lost Profits: Our professionals are retained by attorneys to calculate the lost-profit damages in commercial cases. Many of these claims occur due to contract disputes, unfair competition, misappropriation of trade secrets, anti-trust claims and tortious interference. In lost profit cases, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s wrongful act (1) caused the loss, (2) the amount of the loss can be established with ‘reasonable certainty’ and (3) the loss was a consequence of the defendant’s actions.

Tortious Interference: This is a common law tort that occurs when a party intentionally damages another party’s contractual obligations or business relationship with a third-party, causing economic harm. Our professionals have supported attorneys that have filed for tortious interference for both business contracts and business relationships.

Our Professionals

Rebecca B. Fitzhugh forensic accountant litigation services

Rebecca B. Fitzhugh

Member of the Firm
Forensic Accounting

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Monica H. Kaden, MBA, ASA, ABV, CHFP

Monica H. Kaden

Managing Director 
Business Valuations

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megan kelly manager forensic accounting litigation services essex county

Megan Kelly

Forensic Accounting

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