New team members bolster growing Metro D.C. fraud practice; offer more than five decades of combined anti-fraud experience
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Grant Thornton LLP is expanding its fraud and forensics services by hiring fraud mitigation veteran Linda Miller as a principal in the firm’s fraud and forensics practice. The firm has also hired David Cappellina as a fraud and forensics managing director. Both will be based in Grant Thornton’s Washington, D.C., offices.
Miller rejoins Grant Thornton after serving for more than a year as the deputy executive director for the federal government’s Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC), where she oversaw $5 trillion in federal appropriations aimed at responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to her role with the PRAC, Miller was a principal at Grant Thornton, where she served public sector and commercial clients seeking to assess and reduce the risk of fraud.
Cappellina is a longtime D.C. professional with more than three decades of experience as a forensic accountant and compliance professional. He most recently served as a financial crimes and investigations managing director for Alvarez & Marsal and has more than 25 years of forensic advisory services experience at large professional services firms.
Miller and Cappellina join Forensic Advisory Services Principal John Gilkes, an experienced financial investigations leader who started at the firm in June. Throughout his more than 30 years of experience, Gilkes has led corporate and regulatory investigations and international asset tracing and recovery engagements — and has conducted a wide array of complex, multi-jurisdictional investigations involving wire transfer fraud, bribery and extortion.
“Linda, David and John are bolstering our firm’s service offerings at the perfect time,” said Brad Preber, CEO of Grant Thornton. “Their decades of experience will be key to helping our commercial and public sector clients manage a rising tide of new and highly dangerous fraud threats.”
According to a recent report published by Grant Thornton and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), corporations are already gearing up for a fraud landscape intensified by the pandemic. In the report, titled “The Next Normal: Preparing for a Post-Pandemic Fraud Landscape,” more than 80% of companies surveyed said they have implemented one or more changes to their anti-fraud programs in response to the pandemic. Furthermore, 71% of companies expect the level of fraud impacting their organizations to increase over the next year.
“There’s a new generation of fraud actors poised to further exploit commercial and governmental entities in the months ahead,” added Carlos Otal, national managing partner of Grant Thornton Public Sector LLC. “We saw people take advantage of government stimulus programs in a way that hurt both the public and private sectors. Now those same fraud actors are looking for their next targets.”
According to Preber, who has more than 35 years of experience serving as a forensic accountant and fraud investigator, that’s why the acumen of Miller, Cappellina and Gilkes is especially valuable: “They know exactly how fraud actors think and behave, and they are attuned to the ways in which fraud is evolving.”
A longtime D.C. resident, Miller’s tenure with the PRAC wasn’t her first time serving the United States. She previously was assistant director of the Forensic Audits and Investigative Service at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). In that role, she led the development of A Framework for Managing Fraud Risks in Federal Programs, the first-ever guidance for federal program managers to help them proactively manage fraud risk and prevent the occurrence of fraud. Miller’s efforts led to the passage of the Fraud Reduction and Data Analytics Act of 2015, which requires federal agencies to take steps to reduce fraud and establish better internal controls.
In addition to her tenure at the GAO, Miller has served as adjunct professor at George Washington University’s Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration. She was also a member of the U.S. Olympic Women’s Rowing Team from 1996 to 2000, competing in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Miller received a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University and a master’s degree in public policy from the university’s Trachtenberg School.
Cappellina brings more than 30 years of experience in providing anti-corruption, investigative and risk management services to private companies and government agencies. He has worked with Fortune 100 companies across the financial services, retail, healthcare and energy industries, as well as U.S. federal and state regulators. He has significant experience leading global anti-bribery and corruption investigations and proactive compliance projects, including matters involving the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). He has also led U.S. and international investigations involving mortgage and procurement fraud, embezzlement, misrepresentations of financial information, political corruption and other financial improprieties.
Cappellina is a certified public accountant in Maryland. He received a master’s degree in public accounting from the University of Hartford and a bachelor’s degree in government from Wesleyan University. He has also made numerous presentations on the topics of fraud investigations, the FCPA and forensic accounting to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Institute of Internal Auditors and Fortune 100 companies.
“The formidable trio of John, Linda and David only enhances what was already a highly agile and effective anti-fraud operation here in D.C.,” concluded Greg Wallig, the office managing principal in Grant Thornton’s Metro D.C. office. “With these three key hires, we’re helping our clients stay ahead of the game in this ‘new normal’ of fraud activity.”
For more information on Grant Thornton’s advisory services offerings, including its fraud and forensics services, visit www.grantthornton.com/advisory.
About Grant Thornton LLP