Renee Howdeshell

Renee Howdeshell is a founding member of Fulcrum Inquiry, an accounting, finance and economic consulting firm that performs damage analyses for commercial litigation, forensic accountings, royalty & distribution audits, financial investigations, and business valuations. Ms. Howdeshell holds a degree in Finance and Marketing from the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). She has testified as an expert witness in federal court, CA state court and arbitration regarding the results of her work. She can be reached at (213) 787-4112 and her resume is available at www.fulcrum.com.

Most commented posts

  1. The hardest-fought license terms may be the least likely to be in compliance. — 7 comments
  2. Embezzlement at the House of Twain — 4 comments
  3. Hollywood Accounting: Another good reason to read (and audit) your contracts. — 3 comments
  4. Michael Vick and the Duration of Reputational Damage — 3 comments
  5. “Too Big to Audit” is no defense — 3 comments

Author's posts

The Many Forms of Elder Financial Abuse

American seniors, holding trillions in wealth, are increasingly targeted by fraudulent schemes to separate them from their hard earned savings.  This epidemic of elder financial abuse takes on many forms, including: Predatory Lending, often using reverse mortgage loans Pyramid or Ponzi schemes with promises of unreasonably high returns Internet/Email phishing to obtain access to bank …

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Permanent link to this article: https://betweenthenumbers.net/2018/10/the-many-forms-of-elder-financial-abuse/

IRS Confirms Continued Deductibility of Business Meals (When Separable from Entertainment)

For months, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and American businesses have been requesting guidance from the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) regarding changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) (Pub. L. No. 115-97) that disallowed the deductibility of entertainment, amusement, recreation and qualified transportation fringe expenses. Businesses and their accounting …

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Permanent link to this article: https://betweenthenumbers.net/2018/10/irs-confirms-continued-partial-deductibility-of-business-meals-when-separable-from-entertainment/

SEC Charges San Diego Duo in Alleged Ponzi Scheme

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) charged Jonny Ngo, Donato “Mick” Baca, Jr., and NL Technology, LLC with defrauding hundreds of investors by running a Ponzi scheme. A Ponzi scheme is a type of investment fraud that sustains itself by paying claimed returns to existing investors with fresh money from new investors, while also enriching …

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Permanent link to this article: https://betweenthenumbers.net/2018/10/sec-charges-san-diego-duo-in-alleged-ponzi-scheme/

Check Amounts Can Differ Substantially from Class Action Settlements Per Claim

The reported value per claim in a class action settlement can differ significantly from the actual check a class member receives.  Both StarKist and Trader Joe’s have faced class action lawsuits involving damages for allegedly under-filled cans of tuna.  Both defendants settled for cash amounts in the range of $25-29 per claim (although StarKist also …

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Permanent link to this article: https://betweenthenumbers.net/2018/09/check-amounts-can-differ-substantially-from-class-action-settlements-per-claim/

Alleged Kickback Scheme at Popular Pharmacy

A universal risk to companies that employ individuals and engage outside vendors are vendor billing schemes.  The most recent instance to hit the news is an alleged kickback scheme involving advertising services provided to Rite Aid. The Central Penn Business Journal (“CPBJ”) reports that a former Rite Aid Vice President of Advertising has tentatively agreed …

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Permanent link to this article: https://betweenthenumbers.net/2018/09/alleged-kickback-scheme-at-popular-pharmacy/

After The Storms Come the Scams

While natural disasters bring out the worst elements of nature, it can bring out the best in humanity.  There is often a tremendous outpouring of support and generosity toward those affected.  Unfortunately there is also a darker underside, as the opportunity arises to take advantage of the good intentions of others or the desperation of …

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Permanent link to this article: https://betweenthenumbers.net/2018/09/after-the-storms-come-the-scams/

Tax Deduction Available for Ponzi Scheme Related Theft

The current tax season brings some small consolation to victims of Ponzi schemes and certain other financial fraud, with the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) allowing duped investors to obtain partial relief in the form of a theft loss tax deduction.  Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) 165(a) provides that a theft loss incurred in a transaction entered …

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Permanent link to this article: https://betweenthenumbers.net/2018/03/tax-deduction-available-for-ponzi-scheme-related-theft/

General Cable Settles with SEC and DOJ for $82.3 Million

General Cable Corporation announced that it has entered into a joint settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and Department of Justice (“DOJ”) for a total payment of $82.3 million to address investigations into violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) and separate allegations regarding financial restatements. In 2014, General Cable voluntarily …

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Permanent link to this article: https://betweenthenumbers.net/2016/12/general-cable-settles-with-sec-and-doj-for-82-3-million/

Patent Feature Double Count Sinks Damages Calculation

Finjan, Inc. (‘Finjan”) vs. Sophos, Inc. (“Sophos”) is a patent infringement action involving 14 different claims related to six different patents for computer and network security technology.  Many patented products, particularly those involving technology, use more than one patent.  As described in this related article, a damage analyst in this situation will often need to …

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Permanent link to this article: https://betweenthenumbers.net/2016/09/patent-feature-double-count-sinks-damages-calculation/

Severance Agreements Cannot Interfere with Whistleblower Protections

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or the “Commission”) protects whistleblowers through Rule 21F-17, enacted under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which states that “[n]o person may take any action to impede an individual from communicating directly with the Commission staff about a possible securities law violation.” Prior cases have highlighted that …

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Permanent link to this article: https://betweenthenumbers.net/2016/09/severance-agreements-cannot-interfere-with-whistleblower-protections/