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The true cost of fraud

Tracy L. Coenen When we think of on-the-job fraud, we tend to think in extremes. One extreme is the teenage punk with orange hair and a nose ring, and he’s stealing cash out of the register or letting his friends ...

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Time to move forward together

Gregg Herman Over the past few weeks, this column has examined the relationship between family law attorneys and mental health professionals. We have examined the issues from the perspective of studies of family law processes and of the use of ...

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Finding a thief: Personal red flags of fraud

Tracy L. Coenen As victims of occupational fraud reflect on crimes committed against their companies, they wonder if there were any signs that a fraud was occurring. They wonder how a trusted employee could steal from the company. Sadly, frauds ...

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Clients can be coached to manage divorce anxiety

Gregg Herman Many, if not most, of the clients seen by a family law attorney, exhibit a high degree of anxiety. Sometimes, it manifests itself in anger; sometimes in depression; and sometimes in a different manner altogether. This anxiety interferes ...

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Legal systems need deeper understanding of psychologists

Gregg Herman Forensic psychology frequently plays a critical role in family law actions, most often when parents are embroiled in custody and placement disputes. The court appoints a psychologist; tests are administered; and several weeks later, the expert produces a ...

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Family lies: Fraud in family business

Tracy L. Coenen Trust is inherent in any good business. We continuously place trust in our employees and in those with whom we do business. But that trust which is so necessary to the operation of a business is also ...

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Disciplines overlap in family law cases

Gregg Herman As divorce lawyers, we are intimately aware of the overlapping relationship between psychology and family law. In certain cases, we feel that we are practicing more psychology than law. At the same time, it is also not uncommon ...

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Your number is up: Recovering from identity theft

Tracy L. Coenen Identity theft affects countless consumers and businesses each year, costing millions and maybe even billions of dollars. In 2004, the Federal Trade Commission received over 635,000 consumer fraud and identity theft complaints with reported losses of $547 ...

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Surviving a tax audit

Tracy L. Coenen With tax time upon us, it seems fitting to discuss tax audits. Whether you are being audited personally or as a business owner, it can be an intimidating process. There is a right way and a wrong ...

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Things I’ve learned about fraud

Tracy L. Coenen For almost 12 years, I’ve been performing a variety of investigations. They have ranged from petty theft and street crimes, to tax fraud and big-time white collar crime. I’ve learned many things from both the perpetrators of ...

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Supreme Court takes up placement issue in Landwehr case

Gregg Herman On Dec. 13, 2005, the Wisconsin Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Landwehr v. Landwehr, 2003AP2555, a case presenting the issue of the proper standard of review when determining a motion to modify physical placement. Let’s hope the ...

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Chen was significant Supreme Court decision in 2005

Gregg Herman Welcome back to the 2005 “Year in Review” for the Wisconsin appellate courts in family law. Last week I looked at a number of important decisions from the court of appeals. This week, the spotlight turns to the ...

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Why didn’t our auditors find the fraud?

Tracy L. Coenen Companies and organizations that are hit with employee fraud, including embezzlement, asset misappropriation, and financial statement manipulation are often surprised that the incident occurred. Even more surprising to executives and boards of directors is the fact that ...

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Fraud Prevention 101

Tracy L. Coenen Fraud is an industry unto itself, causing annual losses to United States companies totaling at least $660 billion. While it’s easy to focus on the big losses incurred by the likes of Enron, Tyco, and WorldCom, no ...

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A thief among us: Lessons from Bielinski Bros.

Tracy L. Coenen During the summer of 2004, a major shakeup was occurring at the Milwaukee-area home building firm of Bielinski Brothers, Inc. Their chief financial officer, Robert Brownell, was fired along with several trusted employees, amid allegations that a ...

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Forensic accounting: A new twist on bean counting

Tracy L. Coenen Traditional accountants and auditors have long been referred to as “bean counters.” Some may take offense at the phrase, but if they’re being honest, they admit that it is a simplistic but accurate representation of the work ...

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A moving case against removal law

Gregg Herman On Nov. 9, 2005, the Wisconsin Assembly passed a bill by a 57-38 vote that would substantially change Wisconsin’s removal law, greatly restricting a parent’s ability to move with a minor child. The proposed legislation, AB 400, now ...

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The eyes have it: Seeing the signs of fraud

Tracy L. Coenen Would you recognize the clues that your client has been ripped off by one of its employees? Or would management conduct business as usual, blindly trusting their employees? Companies make the mistake of not actively searching for ...

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No placement of children by default

Gregg Herman Can placement of minor children be decided by default? Even though the Legislature said "yes," the Wisconsin Court of Appeals said "no" in a recent case. Specifically, the issue involves the failure of a parent to file a ...

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Fee opinion recommended for pub

Gregg Herman Thanks to action by the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin, the issue of whether an attorney is entitled to a judgment for attorney fees from a client under Wis. Stat. §767.23(3)(a) when the attorney ...

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Appellate court upholds life insurance coverage

Part II Gregg Herman If the much-publicized case of Terri Schiavo wasn't enough to make you reconsider the importance of good estate planning, a recent Wisconsin Court of Appeals case re-emphasizes that point. This is the second of two articles ...

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Appellate court addresses support issue in Vlies

Part I Gregg Herman One gray area of family law was recently made black-and-white by a recent Wisconsin Court of Appeals decision. Another area, however, may have been made a shade grayer. This is the first of two articles discussing ...

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Father seeks ‘virtual visitation’ with daughter

Gregg Herman After Michael Gough's divorce in Utah, he found himself living 1,000 miles away from his four-year-old daughter. Not satisfied with simple telephone calls in between physical visitations, he sought a court order allowing "virtual visitation" through electronic communication. ...

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