New Member Spotlight- Dorothy Haraminac

Dorothy Haraminac is a new member of FEWA's Houston Chapter. 

Dorothy is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE from ACFE), a Master Analyst in Financial Forensics (MAFF from NACVA), a Licensed Private Investigator, and a Licensed CE Instructor (TX PSB). She has conducted traditional fraud investigations and financial forensic engagements, deploying sophisticated methods to determine whether indications of fraud exist, to prevent fraud, and to assess the risk of fraud in an organization. In addition, her unique background enabled her to pioneer investigations in cryptofraud, frauds perpetrated with the use of cryptocurrency such as bitcoin, ether, or others. She has developed hybrid investigative approaches that blend traditional investigative methods with digital forensic expertise and is available for expert witness testimony in complex disputes where these issues arise. Ms. Haraminac’s area of expertise extends to economic damage calculations, complex commercial disputes, oil and gas operator disputes, joint billing and royalty disputes, and high net worth asset tracing. 

Dorothy Haraminac used financial forensics to develop and testify to her expert opinion on cryptocurrency assets held by and on behalf of an individual, becoming the first U.S. court-qualified expert on bitcoin asset and cryptocurrency tracing. Ms. Haraminac showed that Mt. Gox cryptocurrency exchange records released through a data breach were, in fact, business records. Three key outcomes resulted from her testimony: breached records can be relied upon to show a user’s transaction history and to determine if concealed assets exist; breached records may be identified as business records using Ms. Haraminac’s methodology without testimony from the breached company; and hacked or breached records may not be dismissed as inherently inadmissible, and instead, may be relied upon in court. Ms. Haraminac’s expertise includes: oil and gas operator disputes, economic damage analysis, and technology process review and controls. She provides consulting and testimony in complex commercial disputes as well as matrimonial disputes. Her firm provides risk management for physical and digital asset security, including executive extraction, risk assessments (fraud, cyber, and traditional), and process recommendations.  

Ms. Haraminac serves on the Council of Industry Advisors for Houston Baptist University (HBU) where she provides industry insight and builds strategic partnerships to guide HBU’s three cyber engineering degree programs. She also serves on the Litigation Forensics Board for NACVA and volunteers her time to train law enforcement, attorneys, and licensed investigators on cybercrime, gathering digital evidence in emerging technology such as bitcoin, other blockchains, and investigating with the darknet. She encourages collaboration and transparency because it engenders strength in best practices and propels her industry forward.

What would you consider to be the most important current issue facing the financial consulting profession?

It is critical for experts to become well-versed in emerging technology to value it, to investigate it, and to advise others in their interactions with it; especially concerning asset security and data privacy. This was true of word processing, of pdf documents, databases, and cell phones; now, it is true of blockchain, AI, IoT, and machine learning. Financial consultants must develop a thorough understanding of the pitfalls with emerging technology to provide the best value to their clients.

What would you consider to be the major growth areas in the financial consulting profession?

Technology valuation is a major growth area and with that, is a growth in expert education resources. The rise of click-through certifications paired with misinformation create a difficult valuation landscape for any professional; whether he or she is in mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital, or economic damage analysis. In step with shifts in technology, experts in these fields must also strive to stay abreast of emerging valuation methodologies along with emerging technology.

To learn more about Dorothy, visit her FEWA Profile! Please join us in welcoming Dorothy to FEWA!

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