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In Brief: Basics of Accounting for Lawyers 2020

Speaker(s): Andrea C. Fox, Jimmy Fokas, John J. Carney, Lisa M. Collura, Matthew B. Greenblatt, Robert J. Malionek
Recorded on: May. 28, 2020
PLI Program #: 302175

Andrea C. Fox has worked in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement since 2016 as an Assistant Chief Accountant.  She previously spent fourteen years working at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP both in the audit practice and more recently as a Director in the Forensic Services Advisory practice.  Ms. Fox has spent her career investigating allegations of accounting and disclosure improprieties on topics that include revenue recognition, contingent liabilities, capitalization of expenses, classification of variable interest entities, stock-based compensation, misappropriation of assets, and key performance indicators.  Ms. Fox is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Fraud Examiner, is Certified in Financial Forensics, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Boston College.

Jimmy Fokas practices in the areas of securities litigation, regulatory enforcement, white collar defense and corporate investigations. Jimmy is a co-leader of the firm’s Financial Investigations, Restatement and Accounting team. His practice includes representation of public and private companies and regulated entities, including their officers, directors and employees, before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Department of Justice (DOJ), New York Office of the Attorney General and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in investigations and enforcement proceedings concerning a variety of securities law issues, including insider trading and accounting and offering fraud. He also counsels broker-dealers and others with respect to compliance issues, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Jimmy has conducted internal investigations of public companies involving accounting and financial reporting issues and compliance with the Controlled Substances Act, and has represented individuals in criminal investigations concerning tax and healthcare fraud.

Prior to joining the firm, Jimmy served as senior counsel in the Division of Enforcement in the New York regional office of the SEC, where he conducted investigations of securities law violations, including allegations of accounting and offering fraud and fraudulent trading practices. Due to his developed understanding of the operations of these government agencies, Jimmy helps his clients navigate complex fact patterns and the intricacies of government investigations in order to deliver favorable outcomes while minimizing reputational and financial risks.

Prior Position

  •  U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, New York Regional Office, Division of Enforcement: Senior Counsel


  • J.D., St. John’s University School of Law, 2000, cum laude
  • B.A., State University of New York at Albany, 1997, magna cum laude

Lisa M. Collura is a Senior Managing Director at FTI Consulting and is based in New York. Ms. Collura has over 25 years of experience in accounting, auditing and litigation consulting services, including forensic accounting and fraud investigations. Ms. Collura specializes in providing complex forensic accounting and financial fraud investigative services in connection with SEC investigations and internal investigations on behalf of Trustees, Boards of Directors, Audit Committees and creditors of both public and private companies. She also has experience in matters involving technical accounting and auditing issues, accounting malpractice and bankruptcy-related litigation.

Among her areas of professional expertise, Ms. Collura manages and directs large-scale financial fraud investigations. Ms. Collura’s forensic accounting and financial investigation engagements include fact-finding and examinations into matters involving alleged Ponzi schemes, fraudulent financial reporting and the misapplication of GAAP. Her engagements have also involved tracing significant flows of funds among accounts and related entities and conducting internal investigations on behalf of Audit Committees in connection with restatements of financial results.

Ms. Collura has assisted in the investigation of several of the largest fraud cases in the United States. She is currently managing a team of FTI Consulting professionals providing investigative services and litigation support to the court-appointed trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities and his counsel. In addition, Ms. Collura led the investigation into the facts surrounding the fraudulent activities at Refco and testified as a witness in the United States District Court in the Southern District of New York in connection with the investigation.

Ms. Collura has also assisted in writing expert reports and preparing for depositions for cases involving accounting and auditing malpractice. One of her notable cases included a multi-billion-dollar accounting malpractice case filed by a lender against one of the major accounting firms.

Prior to joining FTI Consulting in 2001, Ms. Collura was the Assistant Corporate Controller for an information technology services company in Denver, Colorado. Ms. Collura was responsible for SEC reporting requirements and all internal financial reporting. She conducted due diligence procedures and managed the subsequent accounting for several company acquisitions and acted as the direct liaison with the outside auditors. Ms. Collura began her career as a Senior Auditor for Deloitte & Touche, where she audited one of the largest publicly traded steel manufacturing companies in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Ms. Collura holds a B.S. in business administration from John Carroll University. She is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Fraud Examiner, and is Certified in Financial Forensics. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Association of Fraud Examiners. Ms. Collura is a recurring panel member for accounting programs offered by the Practising Law Institute in New York and has been a frequent guest lecturer at Fordham University.

Robert J. Malionek, a partner in the Complex Commercial Litigation and Securities Litigation & Professional Liability Practices, brings more than two decades of experience and insight to clients navigating financial litigation, creditors’ rights, bankruptcy, securities fraud, and professional liability matters.

Mr. Malionek largely focuses his practice on complex financial and deal-related litigation for financial institutions, creditors, and lender groups. He represents issuers, underwriters, and accounting and law firms in matters involving securities litigation, financial reporting obligations, financial fraud, and other professional liability issues, as well as both debtor-side and creditor-side insolvency litigation. Mr. Malionek has represented clients in several bench and jury trials in state and federal courts across the country, and has handled arbitrations and appeals in a variety of areas. He also counsels clients and the firm on issues of ethics, privilege, and professional responsibility.

Mr. Malionek advises clients on:

  • Accountants’ and professional liability matters
  • Financial fraud claims
  • Fraudulent transfer claims
  • Insolvency and restructuring-related litigation
  • Internal investigations
  • Lender liability and credit disputes
  • Securities class actions
  • Trade secret disputes

Mr. Malionek is a longtime member of the firm’s Ethics Committee and serves on the Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committees of the New York County Lawyers’ Association and New York City Bar.

Mr. Malionek has led dozens of presentations and written more than 50 articles on issues of securities litigation, financial disputes, and bankruptcy and workout litigation, as well as attorney-client privilege and ethics, for publications such as the New York Law Journal, The Lawyer, Harvard Law School Forum, and Compliance Week.

Prior to joining Latham, Mr. Malionek served as a clerk to Judge Ruggero J. Aldisert on the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Mr. Malionek’s experience includes representing:

  • All Big 4 accounting firms in class actions and arbitrations, including one firm in hundreds of tax shelter matters, some through binding arbitration
  • Ernst & Young in securing Daubert and summary judgment victories, and Tenth Circuit affirmance, in a Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA) class action arising out of a US$3 billion impairment by Williams Communications Group
  • Financial institutions in disputes with borrowers, and in securities regulatory and internal investigations
  • Law firms in malpractice claims as well as aiding and abetting fraudulent activity by clients
  • The Special Committee of Feedzai Inc. in an accounting-related internal investigation
  • SIFMA in response to a comment letter regarding FASB ASC regulations

Matthew Greenblatt  is a Senior Managing Director at FTI Consulting and is based in New York. Mr. Greenblatt has extensive experience in forensic accounting and internal investigations; auditing and accounting matters; litigation consulting; post- acquisition and shareholder disputes; and advising troubled companies.

Mr. Greenblatt has conducted multiple forensic investigations in connection with cases involving diversions of funds and fraudulent accounting activity by management and has been involved in several internal forensic investigations conducted on behalf of Audit Committees and/or Boards of Directors for both public and private companies. Mr. Greenblatt is currently managing a team of professionals and forensic accountants in connection with the firm’s retention by the court-appointed trustee under SIPA in the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities.

Mr. Greenblatt has advised on cases involving various types of fraudulent activity, including several large Ponzi schemes; partnership disputes; lost profits; breach of contract claims; and accountants’ malpractice. Mr. Greenblatt has additional expertise with matters involving arbitration and mediation; bankruptcy reorganization; claims management; contract disputes; damages; directors & officers related claims; due diligence; expert testimony; forensic investigations; fraud and fraudulent conveyance; solvency and insolvency; trustee and examiner issues, and valuation.

Mr. Greenblatt has spoken on multiple panels in the area of forensic accounting and investigations and is an adjunct professor, teaching the course “Prevention and Detection of Fraudulent Financial Reporting”, a required course within the Forensic Accounting Program of New York University’s Finance, Law and Taxation Program of NYU’s School of Continuing Studies.

Prior to its acquisition by FTI Consulting, Mr. Greenblatt joined Kahn Consulting in June of 1998. Before that, Mr. Greenblatt was a Senior Auditor with Price Waterhouse’s Audit and Business Advisory Services Group.

Mr. Greenblatt holds a B.S. in accounting from Lehigh University. Mr. Greenblatt is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Fraud Examiner, and is Certified in Financial Forensics. Mr. Greenblatt is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants; and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

A former Securities Fraud Chief, Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Senior Counsel, and practicing CPA, John Carney is a seasoned advocate who represents regulated entities and public corporations—their officers, directors and employees—in SEC and criminal law enforcement investigations, as well as in related civil litigation. Utilizing his depth of experience in domestic and international regulatory and criminal enforcement matters and complex litigation, as well as his financial background, John is repeatedly retained by audit committees, corporations, and senior officers of major public companies to conduct internal investigations, to provide counsel during investigations, and to design remedial compliance and corporate governance measures. He regularly conducts investigations of possible FCPA violations and other potentially improper foreign country-based financial transactions, and works proactively with companies to structure and implement FCPA compliance programs.

Based upon his extensive trial experience and sophisticated advocacy in complex financial matters, John was recently nominated and named to the Securities Docket "Enforcement 40," a list of the 40 top securities enforcement defense lawyers in the country. He is ranked in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business and is also "Certified in Financial Forensics" by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He is co-leader of BakerHostetler's national White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations practice. John has lectured extensively at conferences and training seminars on topics such as FCPA, insider trading, securities fraud, and litigating complex accounting cases.