Governance, Risk, Investigations and Disputes
Combined Duff & Phelps and Kroll disputes, investigations, cyber, business intelligence, cross-border restructuring and other advisory.
James (Jim) Feltman is a managing director in the Disputes practice. His practice is focused on providing fiduciary, advisory consulting and expert witness testimony in the areas of insolvency, restructuring, money laundering, Ponzi schemes, asset tracing and recovery, accounting and financial statement reporting issues, causes of action against officers, directors and third parties, securities fraud, misrepresentation, and hedging and trading in complex securities schemes.
Based in New York, Jim has more than 30 years of experience in a broad range of litigation, forensic and investigative services.
He has substantial experience leading cross-border forensic and investigative engagements on behalf of U.S. and foreign government agencies and is an established expert in determining the underlying fact pattern, establishing liability and determining damages in myriad engagements.
Jim has served as an appointed fiduciary with a branch of the United States Department of Justice spanning nearly 30 years. He has been appointed as an advisor by both Federal (U.S. District and U.S. Bankruptcy) and State Courts, served as an arbitrator and mediator and has been appointed as a Monitor by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Recently, Jim was named a Top 25 Consultant in the "Excellence in Client Service" category for 2015 by Consulting Magazine.
Prior to joining Duff & Phelps, Jim had over two decades of experience with Big 4 Accounting firms, and was previously a partner at Mesirow Financial, Arthur Andersen LLP and KPMG LLP.
Jim earned a M.P.S. from Cornell University and a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is a Certified Public Accountant.
Fiduciary Investigative Experience
TS Employment & Corporate Resource Services, Inc.: Mr. Feltman was appointed by the Office of the United States Trustee, a component of the United States Department of Justice, to serve as the Chapter 11 Trustee in a group of companies alleged to have been engaged in major fraud schemes over a multi-year period. One group of companies were publicly traded. Mr. Feltman is leading an investigation with the assistance of multiple professional firms. This case has attracted the attention of a number of US Government agencies. Creditors have filed claims approaching $1 billion.
Residential Capital, LLC: Retained as financial advisors to the Examiner of Residential Capital, LLC (“ResCap”). ResCap, a real estate finance company, focuses primarily on the residential real estate market in the United States. Its businesses cover the spectrum of the U.S. residential finance industry, from origination and servicing of mortgage loans through their securitization on the secondary market. The company through its subsidiary, GMAC Mortgage LLC, originates and services residential mortgages under the GMAC Mortgage and ditech brand names. It also provides capital to other originators of mortgage loans.
Confidential Engagement: Mr. Feltman was retained by a large public real estate development and home construction firm, assisting in identifying and seeking to resolve disputes within management and with the companies’ lenders and other parties in interest. During the course of this engagement, Mr. Feltman’s duties included understanding and evaluating various financial statement reporting disputes, valuation of various business units and claims asserted by third parties including potential accounting restatements and fiduciary duty allegations.
Equipment Acquisition Resources, Inc.: On behalf of a consortium of approximately 30 finance and commercial lenders, Mr. Feltman was retained to examine and report on an underperforming borrower located near Chicago, IL. Mr. Feltman and his team determined that the borrower was engaged in a long-standing Ponzi scheme which implicates a number of officers, directors and third parties. This matter is presently pending in the United States Bankruptcy Court in the Northern District of Illinois.
Fisher Island Investments: Mr. Feltman was appointed examiner by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court with the Southern District of Florida to investigate, examine and report on control and ownership of a group of companies owned by a Russian billionaire and claims of fraud on the court over alleged false documents and representations. The examiner conducted numerous interviews which became an integral part of the investigative process. The examiner’s report was issued and litigation is continuing over various matters remaining unresolved in the case.
Friedman’s Inc.: Mr. Feltman acted as forensic accountant to the unsecured creditors’ committee of Friedman’s, the third largest retail jeweler in the U.S. and a publicly traded company. Services performed include tracking and tracing tens of millions of cash between related entities including captive offshore insurance company and investigating various causes of actions, investigating alleged accounting and financial statement reporting issues, evaluating exit strategies and alternatives, and enterprise valuations. Various Federal investigations are underway.
Lancelot Investment Management LP: Mr. Feltman is serving as the senior financial advisor to the Chapter 7 trustee of this $1.7 billion failed hedge fund. Lancelot is connected to Petters Group Worldwide, a failed $3.45 billion apparent Ponzi scheme. Mr. Feltman’s roles include advising on asset recoveries, forensics and serving as an expert witness in connection with solvency and avoidable transfer claims asserted by the trustee.
New Century: Mr. Feltman was retained as a consulting expert by the liquidating trustee of New Century Financial Corporation, one of the nations’ largest subprime originators and securitizers. In this matter, Mr. Feltman analyzed and examined matters which were alleged to have given rise to accounting malpractice claims. This matter is presently pending as a filed complaint.
Project Bull Market: Mr. Feltman co-led a multi-state pre-litigation investigation in the structured finance industry. On behalf of a Fortune 100 company, Mr. Feltman’s team identified over 100 witnesses, interviewing more than two dozen, utilizing a team of former FBI agents to develop facts necessary to assist client and counsel in determining whether circumstances exist to initiate litigation.
Syntax Brillian Corporation: Mr. Feltman was appointed examiner by the Delaware bankruptcy court to investigate and report on allegations of fraud and director/officer claims in this former publicly traded company. Hundreds of millions in corporate assets were the subject of controversy. The examiner conducted numerous interviews which became an integral part of the investigative process. The examiner report was issued and litigation against various parties is underway.
1031 Tax Group LLC: Served as financial advisors to assist the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in this Chapter 11 that is presently pending in the Southern District of New York. Creditors have alleged that the debtor’s principal had improperly withdrawn $150 million from these groups of companies. Investigations and settlement activities are presently underway in this case. A number of U.S. government agencies are presently investigating the activities of persons believed to be involved in the circumstances that led to this bankruptcy filing.
Air Line Pilots Association International – Mr. Feltman and his firm were retained by Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP on behalf of the Air Line Pilots Association International (“ALPA”). ALPA is a defendant in a class action matter pending in the Federal District Court in New Jersey. The plaintiffs in this case are former TWA pilots who seek damages in connection with American Airlines acquisition of TWA’s assets in early 2001. Mr. Feltman’s retention focuses on the financial condition of TWA and the state of the airline industry around the time period when TWA was acquired by American Airlines.
All American Semiconductor, Inc. (“AASI”) – AASI was a publicly traded distributor and wholesaler for specialized computer and memory components. After the company sought bankruptcy protection in 2007, Mr. Feltman and his firm were retained to assist the Committee of Unsecured Creditors. Mr. Feltman was thereafter retained by the Liquidating Trustee to serve in a forensic and expert witness capacity in connection with claims asserted by the estate. Mr. Feltman has provided solvency opinions and reports and testimony concerning certain preference claims and defenses.
Amaranth v. JP Morgan Chase: Mr. Feltman was retained by JP Morgan Chase, the defendant in an action brought by Amaranth Trading. Amaranth Trading suffered approximately $6 billion in losses in its natural gas portfolio which occurred in approximately a 10-day period during 2006. Amaranth sued JPM over claims associated with these losses and JPM’s alleged role as Amaranth’s prime broker. Mr. Feltman submitted a report and was deposed in this matter. The case was dismissed and is on appeal.
Certified HR Services, Inc.: As a Chapter 11 trustee in a matter currently pending in the Southern District of Florida, Mr. Feltman and his firm are investigating and pursuing recoveries and causes of action against numerous parties of Certified HR Services, Inc., a publicly traded entity. Litigation is currently pending against a number of individuals and entities, and a number of US governmental agencies are presently investigating the activities of this group of companies. Mr. Feltman has testified extensively in this matter concerning asset tracing and financial related issues.
Chilean Government (Pinochet): Mr. Feltman was retained as a testifying expert in the international money laundering complaint brought by the government of Chile against various defendants. In this matter, Mr. Feltman has provided expert testimony concerning allegations of money laundering on behalf of Espirito Santo Bank and its related banking entities. This matter has been disposed of by the United States District Court.
E.S. Bankest, L.C. v. BDO Seidman, LLP: Mr. Feltman was retained and testified as an expert in an accounting malpractice. In this case, the audit firm had failed to detect a multi-year massive fraud in which the company, a financial Factor, massively overstated its revenue and asset base by creating false sales and undisclosed related party transactions. Mr. Feltman testified before a jury in this matter.
Kmart Corporation: Acted as financial advisors to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Kmart Corporation, the nation’s third largest general merchandise retailer. Mr. Feltman provided the lead investigative and forensic role in the Stewardship Investigation, working with multiple creditor constituencies, the Debtor in Possession and its legal and financial advisors. The Stewardship Investigation has focused on analyzing and evaluating complex commercial claims and assertions of alleged improprieties, potential causes of action against certain current and former officers, directors and third parties. The subject matter of the Stewardship Investigation is part of various US governmental agency investigations.
Le-Nature’s, Inc., et al.: Mr. Feltman has been retained by several parties in the Le-Nature’s matter. Mr. Feltman has provided both court room testimony and a written report in connection with these retentions. Le-Nature’s was a privately-owned beverage distributor which engaged in a major Ponzi scheme. Mr. Feltman’s roles included an analysis of the company’s financial statements and the failure of its auditor to detect the nature and extent of the fraud perpetrated by management.
Ministry of Finance v. Aurelius Capital: Mr. Feltman was retained to and provided an expert report in connection with a dispute arising over certain sovereign debt controlled by the Ministry of Finance, Irish Republic. Mr. Feltman’s report was tendered to the court, and shortly thereafter, the matter was settled in a manner favorable to the defendant.
Morton S. Goldfine, et al. V. Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum Perlman & Nagelberg LLP, et al.: Mr. Feltman was retained as a testifying expert and gave testimony in court that the management of a publicly traded company had engaged in securities fraud by materially misrepresenting the company’s financial condition in material omissions which were not part of the company’s audited financial statement. The subject company was a financial services firm which operated a number of insurance companies across the United States.
Peninsula Mortgage Bankers Corporation: Mr. Feltman was retained as a testifying expert and issued a report in connection with this retention. Peninsula Mortgage operated as a mortgage originator and packaged and sold its mortgage portfolios to investors. The company engaged in an elaborate fraud scheme which misrepresented the company’s true financial condition, ultimately causing investors to incur substantial losses.
Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, P.A. (“RRA”) – Mr. Feltman and his firm were retained by the Chapter 11 trustee of RRA, a billion dollar Ponzi scheme which was uncovered by federal authorities in 2009. Mr. Feltman and his firm consulted on numerous matters including banking practices and valuation, hedge fund accounting and operating practices, and other confidential matters. Mr. Feltman and his colleagues gave testimony on certain aspects of their retention including hedge fund operating practices and accounting for hedge fund operations.
Sentinel Management Group, Inc.: Mr. Feltman has been retained by Jenner and Block on behalf of the liquidating trustee of Sentinel Management Group ("Sentinel"). Mr. Feltman has filed numerous expert reports in connection with various litigation matters, including claims against the Debtor’s clearing bank, accounting firm, securities broker, and other counterparties and certain investors. Sentinel was a Futures Commission Merchant which failed unexpectedly and disclosed that approximately $700 million in customer account funds were missing. Mr. Feltman and his team created extensive analysis of the customer funds including the amount and use of such diversions which disclosed a company scheme which operated a hidden fund of approximately $4 billion in securities.
UBS Securities, et al.: Mr. Feltman and his firm were retained by Sullivan & Cromwell, an international law firm representing UBS Securities, in litigation related to the accounting fraud at HealthSouth. Mr. Feltman served as testifying expert in connection with the mechanics of the fraud, and alleged GAAP and GAAS violations and other matters relevant to various defenses offered by these Defendants.
Certified Public Accountant, Florida
Certified Fraud Examiner
Certified in Financial Forensics
Master of Professional Studies, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, 1975
Bachelor of Arts, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1972
American College of Bankruptcy, Fellow
American Bankruptcy Institute, Board of Directors (2002–2008)
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Member
Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Member
Combined Duff & Phelps and Kroll disputes, investigations, cyber, business intelligence, cross-border restructuring and other advisory.
Advising companies, financial sponsors and other stakeholders involved in challenging situations and distressed transactions.
Industry and technical insights to win disputes related to contractual, fiduciary or related obligations.
Providing expert analysis and testimony in the context of litigation, arbitration and other commercial disputes.
Duff & Phelps Advised Cristian Lay on its acquisition of Grupo Gallardo to KKR on the standstill agreement between all lenders, assist with cash management, financial due diligence and operational due diligence.
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