Mark McGrath is a Senior Managing Director at Ankura based in Chicago. Mark has approximately 20 years of broad-based accounting, auditing, investigative, and internal controls experience. Mark focuses on internal and forensic accounting investigations, Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement proceedings, revenue recognition issues, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and anticorruption reviews, litigation support, auditor malpractice, technical accounting and auditing issues, and compliance and internal controls assessments and remediation.
Mark’s background includes work as an independent auditor at international accounting firms and as an internal auditor at a Fortune 300 company. He works with legal counsel representing boards and audit committees on complex, fact-finding accounting investigations involving whistleblower allegations, SEC enforcement, and financial reporting issues. In addition, Mark provides forensic accounting and investigative support in the context of business disputes.
Mark’s professional experience includes:
- SEC Enforcement Consulting: Assisted management and counsel for a leading diagnostics company in reviewing the company’s broad assessment of revenue recognition and helping determine whether revenue was improperly recorded in violation of generally accepted accounting principles. Examined transaction and source documentation to evaluate when title and risk of loss passed. Assessed materiality methodologies and determinations, and evaluated control deficiencies and remedial actions.
- SIPA Liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities: Worked closely with counsel and led consultants performing forensic investigation, data analysis, and litigation consulting regarding the massive Ponzi scheme.
- Whistleblower Matter: Assisted counsel for the audit committee of a board in investigating allegations of employee misconduct and fraud surrounding the calculation of allowance for loan and lease losses at a large regional banking corporation. Conducted employee interviews; examined key processes, models, and methodologies surrounding the process and related internal controls; interfaced with the company’s auditors and assisted counsel in identifying necessary remedial controls and actions.
- Audit Committee Investigation: Assisted counsel for a board’s audit committee investigating whistleblower allegations that revenue was improperly recorded in violation of GAAP at a leading veterinary pharmaceutical manufacturer. Examined client financial reporting practices and internal communications to identify ways employees managed earnings, including channel-stuffing sales to accelerate revenue recognition, recording revenue on sham transactions, improper recognition of revenue associated with consignment sales, and deferring expenses by manipulating reserves and accruals.
- Defense of Trustee Bank Stemming from Collapse of Ponzi Scheme: Assisted counsel in defense of a large bank against claims brought by a special deputy receiver and state guaranty associations to recover damages approximating $600 million related to the bank’s role as trustee over prearranged funeral assets that were misappropriated by funeral company personnel in the largest Ponzi scheme in Missouri history.
- Medical Device Company FCPA Assessment: Assisted counsel in an independent review of FCPA compliance at a large public medical device company. Traveled internationally to perform transactional testing and interview employees across Europe and Asia, to assess the level of compliance with the FCPA’s Books and Records and Internal Control Provisions.
- Anti-Corruption Consultation for Multinational Private Equity Firm: Engaged by counsel on behalf of a large multinational private equity firm with real estate investments in Europe to provide privileged consultation and analysis regarding alleged self-dealings and bribes paid by a third-party property management service provider to government officials.
- Rogue Trader Investigation: Retained by counsel to review the facts and circumstances surrounding allegations of rogue trading stemming from an unexpected margin call at a leading national marketer and logistics company for petroleum products. Led team tasked to independently determine the facts surrounding the implementation of a new hedging program, confirm the associated profit and loss exposures, and identify employees involved in or aware of the rogue trading activities.
- Forensic Accounting Surrounding Asset Transfers: Engaged by counsel representing a leading provider of innovative medical devices to perform forensic accounting procedures surrounding transfers of assets to foreign jurisdictions made to avoid US judgments using undocumented transfer pricing methods and other accounting anomalies. Large judgement made in favor of client with appeal denied by the US Supreme Court.
- Securities Fraud Defense: Assisted counsel in defense of a large hedge fund and its principals against claims of securities fraud and defamation brought by a large internet retailer. Examined whether the retailer’s change in revenue reporting method was appropriate under GAAP.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Readiness Consulting: Engaged by a leading retail mortgage lender to assist with various regulatory matters, including preparation for initial examination by the CFPB. Supervised a team that helped establish an enterprise wide risk management framework, implement risk control self-assessments throughout the business, evaluate the design and operating effectiveness of key internal controls, prepare written procedure and findings reports, and help the company transition toward an in-house internal audit function.
- Internal Control Review for Leading Institutional Investment Manager: Engaged by one of the world’s largest institutional investment managers to perform an operational, and internal control review of third-party asset management and mortgage servicing partners, to provide additional clarity and comfort to management in response to certain concerns.
- Assist in Defense of President and Chief Operating Officer Charged with Fraud: Advised counsel regarding the appropriateness of financial reporting surrounding revenue recognition and sales returns in defense of fraud charges against the president and COO of a leading sportswear company.
- Bank Secretary Act/ Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: Engaged by the regional branch of an international bank to review the bank’s risk assessment methodology pertaining to the BSA/AML and OFAC compliance programs and to identify process, procedure, and internal control enhancements and modifications to strengthen compliance with federal regulatory standards.
- News & events
- ABA Young Lawyer’s White Collar Subcommittee at Mayer, Brown, row & Maw, 10/17/2016, “Backdating Under Scrutiny: What You Need to Know,” Washington, DC
Insights & innovation
- “Chapter 2: Internal Corporate Investigations,” Guide for In-House Counsel: Practical Resource to Cutting-Edge Issues ABA Business Law Section, with Elizabeth S. Fenton, Michelle N. Lipkowitz, and John Levitske
- In the community