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    CHICAGO, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Investigators from the Resolution Trust Corp. (RTC) are in Dallas this week to attend the first in a series of training programs that will help the federal agency recover the millions of dollars that may have been skimmed from hundreds of failed savings and loans across the country.
    The specially designed two-week courses, led by CS&R Checkmate Consulting, a division of the Chicago-based accounting firm of Checkers, Simon & Rosner, is designed to teach all RTC investigators how to determine if wrongful activity has occurred and how to document and present facts in a way that should lead to the recovery of ill-gotten funds from guilty thrift operators and other conspirators.
    "Since the S&L bailout began, we have investigated 633 failed thrifts and have found reason to suspect criminal conduct in more than half of them," said James R. Dudine, RTC assistant director - investigations.  "We estimate that hundreds of millions of dollars in restitution may be recoverable by the continued prosecution of thrift operators, professionals and borrowers."
    The U.S. Justice Department has already indicted 871 individuals in what it calls "major" savings and loan cases.  Of those charged, 661 have been convicted and approximately $135 million in criminal restitution has been awarded the RTC.
    "As the RTC looked deeper into these financial institutions, it discovered some sophisticated crimes," said Thomas R. Creal, CS&R Checkmate CEO and Checkers, Simon & Rosner partner.  "We will teach investigators how to find the most complex transgressions.  CS&R Checkmate has assembled a faculty of the best investigative minds available to present background on the operations of the profession and techniques to detect possible abuses.  The training should allow the RTC to recoup some of the money that may have been stolen."
    A pilot training course was held in October in California and several more courses are planned for the coming months at various locations across the country.
    Creal, who serves as the program's director on behalf of the RTC, has drawn from accounting, legal, banking and investigative disciplines in both public and private sectors to assemble to top-notch faculty. "All have stated their willingness and dedication to fulfill the mission of the training program," Creal said.
    Each nine-day course will feature 22 separate sessions addressing topics such as accountant's malpractice; hedging and futures contracts and how to spot "red flags;" internal accounting abuses; civil fraud; asset searches; bankruptcy, new investigative techniques; document control; and sorting and presenting information.  Trainees will use real-life case studies and will participate in a series of hands-on simulations that will teach how best to interview targets and witnesses and how to give convincing court testimony, among other issues.
    "We are training the investigators to look for specific occurrences of fraud, such as a multi-party, daisy-chain, double land flip transaction," Creal said.  "While this may sound more like a gymnastic routine than a financial scheme, may cases actually are that tangled."
    "The savings and loan crisis was first perceived as the result of bad real estate loans brought on by a sluggish economy," said Dudine. "However, we have found the environment in which many of these institutions operated increased the opportunities for abuse, fraud and theft.  Often, thrifts were operated both beyond their capabilities and as complex organizations, often reflecting the attitude of a single owner."
    CS&R Checkmate, a wholly-owned affiliate of Checkers, Simon & Rosner -- one of the nation's 25 largest accounting firms, is a leader in combining the expertise of accounting and financial consultants with the skills of professional investigators.  CS&R Checkmate provides accounting expert testimony, and investigative and consulting services to help solve legal matters and/or track down -- or prevent -- the fraudulent work place activities that cost businesses billions of dollars annually.
    -0-         11/12/91
    /CONTACT:  Maryanne Cherrier of Weiser Minkus Walek Communications, 312-368-1500, CS&R Checkmate Consulting/ CO:  CS&R Checkmate Consulting; Checkers, Simon & Rosner ST:  Illinois IN:  FIN SU: SH -- NY059 -- 3496 11/12/91 13:22 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 12, 1991

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