Corporate and Government Investigations

Cornerstone Research has worked on a number of complex investigations and enforcement matters involving companies and individuals.

We have addressed a range of white collar issues, including securities, financial statement, and broker-dealer fraud; FCPA violations; and mismanagement. Our work has helped identify, clarify, and explain the transactions, data, and accounting information that are typically the object of inquiry in these matters.

Corporate and Government Investigations Capabilities

Government Enforcement

In the wake of the recent turmoil in financial and credit markets, regulators have increased their enforcement activities. They often focus on corporate disclosures, including audited financial statements, earnings, and performance expectations, along with management’s discussion of risks and trends.

Cornerstone Research has worked on investigations and litigation brought by government enforcement agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Cornerstone Research has analyzed complex accounting, auditing, and disclosure issues in civil and criminal actions brought by regulators. We have helped clients achieve favorable outcomes, sometimes before any public announcement of allegations or investigations.

Cornerstone Research has determined whether companies needed to issue financial restatements. For example, we evaluated whether a company’s transaction records complied with accounting standards and worked with attorneys to respond to an independent examiner’s conclusions.

Accounting Investigations and Ponzi Schemes

Cornerstone Research investigates complex fraud and concealment schemes on behalf of corporate clients and/or their counsel as well as provides consulting and expert testimony in resulting litigation.

Energy and Commodities Investigations

Many large U.S. energy firms and financial institutions face allegations of market manipulation, conspiracy, and wire fraud in their trading activities, operation of physical assets, and price reporting. Cornerstone Research has worked on many of the highest-profile energy and commodities cases, using a multidisciplinary approach to evaluate claims resulting from FERC and CFTC investigations.

Financial and White Collar Investigations

Cornerstone Research has investigated the activities of investment firms and financial institutions. We have addressed a range of issues, including securities, financial statement, and broker-dealer fraud; FCPA violations; and mismanagement. We have analyzed corporate processes for determining appropriate disclosures and the role of executives, board members, auditors, and other outside advisors in the decision-making process.

Internal Investigations

The need for internal investigations may arise from whistleblower allegations, contractual disputes, employee malfeasance, corporate monitoring, anticipated litigation, consumer complaints, merger and acquisition activity, and general management or board inquiries. Cornerstone Research has experience investigating a wide variety of alleged corporate misconduct.

Cornerstone Research has conducted investigations into alleged accounting irregularities, employee mismanagement, and disputed business transactions. We have analyzed complex fraud schemes, traced cash and transactions through corporate accounts, reconciled disparate accounting systems, reconstructed client data, and determined solvency and liquidity positions. For many of these matters, Cornerstone Research has utilized sophisticated data analytics to evaluate large volumes of information to help identify trends, perform advanced search queries, and identify relevant records.

Compensation and Tax Issues

Regulators are increasingly scrutinizing compensation and taxation, including stock options, compensation adjustments due to mergers or special dividends, performance-based pay, and tax shelters.

Life Sciences and Healthcare Investigations

Our staff have consulted on a variety of cases involving allegations of off-label marketing under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. We have also worked on life sciences and healthcare False Claims Act cases involving out-of-network reimbursement, prescription drug payments based on average wholesale prices, healthcare provider-payer disputes, and healthcare providers cross-billing multiple insurers.

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Allegations

By leveraging experience in finance, accounting, and corporate governance process evaluation, Cornerstone Research has helped corporations determine the amount of profits attributable to alleged violations of the FCPA and defend the processes designed to prevent abuses.