This case stems from an appeal pending before a state Supreme Court in which an insurance company was the defendant. After the judgment was entered, a vacancy arose on the Supreme Court. An election to fill that seat took place. A then Circuit Judge was recruited to run for the vacancy by a particular committee, who had an influential member that happened to be the chief lobbyist for the defendant insurance company in that case. The committee helped run the judge’s campaign and coordinated the donations of various conservative pro-business groups. The defendant insurance company contributed millions of dollars to these organizations with an understanding that those groups would direct the funds to the judge’s campaign. These groups contributed millions of dollars to the campaign, directly and indirectly through in-kind contributions. After the judge was elected to the state Supreme Court, the plaintiffs in the aforementioned case filed a motion for the new supreme court justice to recuse himself from the decision. The judge denied. The defendant insurance company filed a response to that motion denying any allegations that it contributed funds to the campaign. That year the pending appeal in the case was overturned. Years later, the plaintiffs uncovered new evidence which prompted them to file a motion to recall the mandate, again stating that the justice should have recused himself. The defendant insurance company filed a response again denying all allegations. It was alleged that the defendant violated the RICO Act by lying in state Supreme Court filings and perpetrating a conspiracy to defraud the court in its attempts to circumvent the judgment. An expert forensic accountant was sought to opine on contributions made by the defendant insurance company to third-party organizations which subsequently donated money to the judicial campaign the judge now a Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. How does one determine if proper forensic accounting guidelines/standards/techniques are used?
- 2. What specific government experience in money-laundering schemes do you have?
Expert Witness Response E-184780
I am a certified public accountant with extensive government experience in money laundering and trial experience often sitting with the assistant the U.S. Attorneys in court who prosecuted my cases. I have 30+ years of federal criminal investigative experience. I worked 26 years with the FBI where I conducted white-collar crime investigations involving fraud and money laundering. Prior to the FBI, I was a criminal investigator for the IRS where I conducted tax evasion and money laundering investigations. Upon retiring from the FBI, I formed a firm that specializes in forensic accounting and financial investigations. I have conducted approximately 10 financial/fraud investigations for individuals, attorneys (plaintiffs and defendants), and businesses. This case appears similar to the numerous money laundering cases I have worked as an FBI agent.
I would review this case as to the use of the proper forensic accounting guidelines, standards, and techniques by reviewing all the available evidence and supporting documentation. I would evaluate it based on my prior investigative, accounting, and auditing experience along with the standards gain as Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) by the AICPA. This case seems to be straightforward in following the money from its origination to it ultimately being deposited to the judge’s campaign fund. I am sure there were many steps in this process used to conceal and disguised the source of the funds. In evaluating this case I would also look at additional corroborating evidence, if it exists, to support the concealment and the laundering of money (campaign contributions).