Case Study Five: Expert Witnesses
Chaos in the Caribbean
Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination, describes an expert witness as someone who, because of their education, profession, experience or publication possesses a special knowledge of his/her subject matter beyond that of the average person, so much so that others may officially and legally rely on their opinion. (Kranacher, p 493). As a specialist in investigative and forensic accounting Tedd Avey is such person. That special knowledge combined with an investigation spanning 12 years certainly qualified Avey as an expert witness in the case of Blaise Financial Entities. Avey’s investigation into Blaise started 1994 when the scope of the company’s fraudulent activity was discovered when Patrick Hylton was appointed managing director of Blaise Merchant Bank and Trust Co. A month later the Jamaican government took management of Blaise and Avery’s Canadian firm, Navigant Consulting to investigate the fraudulent activity and try to unravel the financial misdeeds of the company’s owners, Donald and Janet Panton, ironically also from Canada. This investigation led to the Jamaican government retaining Avey and his firm to investigate two other similar cases; Century National Bank and Eagle Financial Network.
Forensic Accounting Techniques
Avey most likely used many different techniques to discover and verify what happened at Blaise, Century and Eagle. In order to do a thorough, professional, and objective investigation and to achieve solid and defensible results the forensic account must employ many techniques to check and double check information. Techniques that Avey may have used are: public document reviews and background investigations, interviews of knowledgeable persons, confidential sources of information and evidence, laboratory analysis of physical and electronic evidence, and analysis of financial transactions.
Because of the time period in which these frauds took place, 1980’s...