Pivot Points Newsletter: February 2024

Updates from CohnReznick's Restructuring and Dispute Resolution Team

    coronavirus corona virus


    Corporate criminal compliance and integrity monitors: DOJ’s increasing support

    In this article, Joseph Spinelli, Managing Director of the Restructuring & Dispute Resolution practice at CohnReznick, discusses:

    • Criteria when evaluating the need for an integrity monitor
    • The DOJ’s selection process
    • Attributes of an effective integrity monitor

    Read more


    Integrity monitoring Q&A: Insights on preventing corruption and monitoring compliance

    In this Q&A, Joseph Spinelli, discusses his experience as an integrity monitor for the cleanup at Ground Zero following the 9/11 terrorist attacks as well as his experience assisting Fortune 500 companies with anti-bribery and corruption compliance programs, and more.

    Read more


    Case studies

    9/11 Ground Zero Clean-Up

    Background: Oversaw all construction companies involved in the cleanup at Ground Zero following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

    Practitioner's role: Integrity Monitor


    • Precluded fraudulent activities and successfully submitted New York City’s claim to FEMA for $20B which enabled the city to remain operational.
    • Uncovered fraudulent acts, including the theft of sheet metal at Ground Zero and numerous fraudulent payroll transactions.

    New York City Children’s Services

    Background: A state censure of ACS and the firing of several employees was conducted after the tragic death of six-year-old Zymere Perkins. ACS, the Governor of New York State, and the Mayor of New York City deemed it necessary to have an integrity monitor in place.

    Practitioner's role: Integrity Monitor


    • Evaluated all policies, practices, and procedures to determine the reason for the troubling failures that existed in the handling of high-risk cases.
    • ACS technology was upgraded, the case load for case workers was alleviated, and a new unit (independent consultants) was created to assist case workers.

    University Tuition Legal Action

    Background: In December 2015, the Supreme Court of the State of New York issued a Consent Decree settling the legal action over the charging of tuition at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art (Cooper Union). The Attorney General’s Office of the State of New York appointed a fiducial monitor.

    Practitioner's role: Fiducial Monitor


    • Drafted 10-year plan to return Cooper Union to full-tuition scholarships after reviewing audited financial statements, the Board-approved budget resolutions, and amendments to the Cooper Union bylaws.
    • The plan, which called for $250M in new investments, was approved by the Supreme Court of New York, New York State Attorney General, Cooper Union, the Board of Trustees, and the Committee to Save Cooper Union.

    CohnReznick's Restructuring team honored among M&A Advisor's Turnaround Award winners

    CohnReznick, one of the leading advisory, assurance, and tax firms in the United States, was honored to be among M&A Advisor’s 18th Annual Turnaround Award winners in the Sec. 363 Sale of the Year ($10 – $50 million) category.

    CohnReznick was financial advisor to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chapter 11 of Winc, Inc., a direct-to-consumer wine company, with Kevin Clancy, Global Lead, Restructuring and Dispute Resolution, and Vincenzo Toppi, Partner, leading the firm’s team.

    Continued Expansion

    • Integrity Monitoring, New York. Joseph Spinelli has joined the firm as a Managing Director and is based in our New York office. He is a globally recognized thought leader and practitioner in the areas of integrity monitorships, white-collar investigations, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), anti-bribery and corruption, and risk management.
    • Distressed Business Valuation, Chicago. Michael Fussman, CIRA, CDBV, has joined the firm as a Managing Director and is based in Chicago. He has 20 years of experience overseeing teams in the design and implementation of leading solutions for valuations, distressed situations, damages quantification, M&A activities, due diligence, and expert witness testimony.

    Debra Henderson Morgan joins ABI's Distressed Real Estate Symposium Advisory Board

    Congratulations to Debra Henderson Morgan who was invited to join the American Bankruptcy Institute’s (ABI) Distressed Real Estate Symposium Advisory Board!

    ABI is launching their first Distressed Real Estate Symposium which will take place from April 30 - May 2 in Ojai, CA. ABI is a diverse community of bankruptcy professionals who share common business and educational goals, and whose mission is to be the central resource for networking, research, and education for their members at every stage of their career.

    Debra is a managing director in our Restructuring & Dispute Resolution practice and has more than 25 years of experience in commercial real estate portfolio management, acquisitions, recapitalizations, and the restructure and disposition of distressed debt and over-leveraged real estate.

    Upcoming events

    • TMA Distressed Investing Conference (Feb. 6-9) – Attending
    • Structured Finance Association SFVegas 2024 (Feb. 25-28) – Attending
    • ABA White Collar Crime Conference (Mar. 6-8) – Attending
    • 2024 Distressed Investing Summit (Mar 18-19) – Attending
    • ABI VALCON (Mar. 18-20) – Speaking/Attending
    • ABI Spring Meeting (Apr. 18-20) – Attending
    • ABI Distressed Real Estate Symposium (Apr. 30 - May 2) – Attending
    • AIRA Annual Conference (June 5-8) – Attending

    Related services

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    This has been prepared for information purposes and general guidance only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining specific professional advice. No representation or warranty (express or implied) is made as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this publication, and CohnReznick LLP, its partners, employees and agents accept no liability, and disclaim all responsibility, for the consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this publication or for any decision based on it.