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Forensic accounting offered by Perry firm

PARKERSBURG – Perry & Associates Certified Public Accountants, A.C., now offers forensic accounting as part of its Tax, Audit, Review, Consultation, Bookkeeping, Payroll and Litigation Support, said company President Jodey Altier.

Forensic Accounting is the integration of accounting, auditing and investigative skills, Altier said. Forensic accountants are trained to look beyond the numbers and deal with the business reality of the situation.

A forensic accountant is often retained to analyze, interpret, summarize and present complex financial and business-related issues in a manner which is understandable and properly supported, Altier said. A forensic accountant is often involved in investigating and analyzing financial evidence; developing computerized applications to assist in the analysis and presentation of financial evidence; communicating their findings in the form of reports, exhibits and collections of documents; and assisting in legal proceedings, including testifying in court as an expert witness and preparing visual aids to support trial evidence.

Altier said Perry and Associates has the financial and investigative capability that can respond immediately, discreetly and comprehensively to any suspected financial civil or criminal wrongdoing.

Altier announced the hiring of Jeff S. Sandy, a former Wood County sheriff, to head up the firm’s new forensic financial investigative unit. He is a certified fraud examiner, certified anti-money laundering specialist; a private investigator licensed in West Virginia, and holds a degree in accounting from Marshall University.

Sandy has 25 years’ experience as a special agent with the United States Treasury’s Criminal Investigation Division, four years as Wood County sheriff, and six years as a contractor working on private financial investigations and national security issues involving terrorism finance in the United States and overseas.

In May, Sandy returned from working in Israel. During his law enforcement career he investigated and supervised some large financial fraud cases.

Sandy has been admitted as an expert witness in the field of money laundering in five U.S. District Courts. He has taught financial investigative techniques to domestic and international law enforcement officers. In April 2015 he released his first book titled “Trace It.” The book is provided at no cost and for official use of domestic law enforcement.

While employed by the U.S. Department of Treasury, Sandy received over 100 awards, and is proud of the work that he and other treasury special agents performed in the Middle East, Altier said.

Sandy received a medal from the Department of Defense and the Honor Award from the Department of the Treasury for his investigative work in Iraq.

According to Altier, “we have uncovered a substantial amount of financial fraud occurring during our audits and we felt a growing need to establish a forensic audit team that could respond quickly to the corporations and government entities we service.

“By adding Sandy, he brings not only himself, but a talent pool of 22 contractors that can respond to almost any of our clients’ needs. Examples of the contractor pool are computer investigative specialists that have received training and taught at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. These individuals can retrieve data from computers that either were deleted by accident or purposely deleted from the computer’s hard drives,” Altier said.

“They can also image or make a 100 percent duplicate of a customer’s business computer system which will allow us to work at our offices and save the customer travel expenses. The retired federal, state, and local investigators that are available have worked on many notable investigations both domestic and international involving the tracing of legal and illegal money. We now have the ability to work any size forensic audit investigation,” Altier said.

Perry & Associates has offices in Parkersburg, Marietta and Saint Clairsville, Ohio. Its webpage is www.perryandassociatescpas.com

Jeffrey Brooks, a certified public accountant and the vice president for Perry & Associates, said, “Sandy and his team not only bring a different skill set, but experience which is truly hard to find in today’s business climate.”

Some of the new services Perry & Associates will be providing customers are fraud prevention training and determining the magnitude of civil and criminal financial violations. They will meet with a client’s legal counsel on civil issues and federal and state prosecutors on criminal issues and assist until the conclusion, Altier said.

The company will communicate investigative results in the form of reports, exhibits and collections of documents; do hidden asset tracing; prepare assessments of damages; appear as expert witnesses in money laundering cases in domestic and foreign courts; conduct Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) investigations; and investigate money laundering activities, corporate fraud and embezzlement, estate and trust fraud, along with other cases involving fraud and disputes.

“We will never forget the roots of our founder Randall H. Perry,” Altier said. “No matter if it is a charitable organization or major corporation embezzlement, our clients will get the same quality service. We believe in the value of relationships,” Altier said.