Luke S. Vreeken is a shareholder with Sage Forensic Accounting, a highly specialized consulting firm that offers specialized services in the areas of forensic accounting, economic damage analysis, and business valuation. Mr. Vreeken has primarily been engaged by attorneys and law firms to assist them and their clients with financial and accounting-oriented issues, ranging from complex damage analyses to business valuation.
Mr. Vreeken has also been engaged to provide professional expertise to individuals, businesses, insurance companies, financial institutions, and not-for-profit organizations.
The following sections provides additional detail summarizing Mr. Vreeken’s experience in different professional areas:
I have been involved in performing appraisals in both cooperative and contentious appraisal environments. I have calculated the value of closely held companies in a wide variety of industries for many different purposes, including for buy-sell agreements, ESOP plans, divorce settlements, stockholder disputes, bankruptcy adversarial proceedings, governmental regulatory agencies, gift and estate tax plans, and other business planning and litigation situations. While assisting with valuations, I regularly draw on my forensic accounting, economic analysis, and other financial expertise. I regularly assist in performing complex valuation assignments that involve issues such as distinguishing between enterprise and personal goodwill, allocation of goodwill value, and valuing horizontal and vertically integrated entities. The following is a brief summary of some of the varied assignments I have participated in:
- Assisted with the valuation of car dealerships, including both new and used car dealerships for tax planning purposes.
- Assisted with the valuation of assisted living facilities for consulting & buy-out purposes.
- Assisted with the valuation of several real estate holding companies for tax planning purposes.
- Assisted with the valuation of a multi-level-marketing down-line for litigation purposes.
- Assisted with the valuation of several fast-food franchise restaurants for litigation purposes.
- Assisted with the valuation of a vending machine restocking business for marital dispute purposes.
- Assisted with the valuation of a heating and air conditional company for consulting purposes.
- Assisted with the valuation of a software technology company for exit planning purposes.
- Assisted with the valuation of an engineering company specializing in highway and road construction for consulting purposes.
- Assisted with the valuation of several day care centers for litigation purposes.
- Assisted with the valuation of a veterinary clinic for marital dispute purposes.
- Assisted with the valuation of a hardware store after alleged mismanagement and misappropriation of company funds by various employees.
The large majority of my assignments involve applying forensic accounting expertise to various portions of the assignment. This can range from using forensic accounting techniques to analyze and understand the trends in the financial results of a business to investigating fraud allegations. The following is a list of some of the varied matters in which I have used my forensic accounting expertise to provide assistance:
- Reconstructed accounting records lost or destroyed as a result of theft, flood, fire, and other situations causing lost documents or data.
- Investigated misappropriation of assets for a real estate investment company and developed additional internal control suggestions to prevent future misappropriations.
- Investigated alleged embezzlement of funds from a restaurant.
- Investigated alleged embezzlement of funds from a hardware store.
- Investigated alleged embezzlement of funds from a construction company.
- Investigated alleged embezzlement of funds from a massage school.
- Investigated and identified assets of estates and business for use in probate, marital dissolution, and corporate matters. I regularly conduct these analyses for purposes of preparing a schedule detailing a marital estate for use in determining an equitable division.
- Supervised and performed investigative accounting work for criminal fraud trials and claims.
- Supervised and performed investigative accounting services on the assets of marital estates in divorce cases.
- Performed forensic accounting investigation of the use of funds invested in a business by a passive investor, including the tracing of siphoned funds through personal accounts of the individuals, and identification of misstatements in financial statements provided by the company as compared to business results demonstrated from the forensic reconstruction.
- Engaged by the Securities and Exchange Commission to provide a forensic accounting investigation of an alleged Ponzi scheme and provided findings in an expert report for use in a court of law for a matter involving claims of fraud in the offer and sale of securities, Violations of Section 17(a)(2) [15 U.S.C. § 77q(a)(2)], fraud in connection with the purchase and sale of securities, violations of Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act [15 U.S.C. § 78j(b)] and Rule 10b-5(b) thereunder [17 C.F.R. § 240.10b-5(b)], and offer and sale of unregistered securities, violation of Sections 5(a) and (c) of the Securities Act [15 U.S.C. § 77e(a) and (c)].
Evaluation of economic damages and related assessment of economic causation
I have been involved in the computation of economic losses, or economic damages, in many different types of cases. I have assisted in calculating and evaluating analyses prepared by others for losses due to business interruptions, business destructions, business dissolutions, and a wide variety of business disputes. I have prepared both consulting reports and comprehensive expert reports, with uses ranging from legal consulting to settlement negotiations to trial testimony. The following is a list of some of the varied matters in which I have used my expertise to provide assistance:
- Analyzed economic damages in a matter involving claims of breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, lost business opportunity, failure to comply with their contractual obligation, civil conspiracy, intentional interference economic relations, and intentional misrepresentations or fraudulent concealment, related to a business that operated several cellular telephone retail locations in Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah.
- Analyzed economic damages in a matter involving patent infringement claims related to businesses engaged in the manufacture of irrigation and watering products.
- Analyzed economic damages in a matter involving claims of misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty, intentional interference with prospective economic relations, and civil conspiracy, in a lawsuit between a company and its former employee and the company formed by that employee.
- Analyzed the economic loss resulting from personal injury, wrongful death and wrongful termination cases.
- Computed damages on intellectual property cases.
- Computed damages involving losses associated with construction contracts.
Critique and review of other financial experts
I am regularly involved in assignments specifically for the purpose of reviewing a report of another financial expert. The work provided in this context ranges from providing consulting advice to counsel to preparing a rebuttal expert report and providing testimony. The following list outlines some of the matters in which I have been involved:
- Prepared expert rebuttal analysis evaluating the economic damage claims in matters involving wrongful termination claims, personal injury claims, and wrongful death claims, including identifying and demonstrating the impact of flawed and speculative uses of generic data sources and vocational analyses.
- Evaluated and prepared rebuttal analyses evaluating economic damage claims in a matter involving real estate development, management, and option agreements involving real estate with estimated value of over several hundred million dollars.
- Analyzed and prepared rebuttal analyses critiquing economic damage claims in a matter involving a loss of a distributorship and related down-line organization in a multi-level marketing business.
- Prepared expert rebuttal analysis critiquing an analysis of gross income and expenses presented for use in determination of alimony and support.
Mr. Vreeken earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting, a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, and a Master’s degree in Accounting, from the University of Utah.
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA), licensed in Utah,
- Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants,
- Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
- Member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants,
- Member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners,
- Member of the American Society of Appraisers,
- Officer, Utah Chapter of Certified Fraud Examiners, 2017 to present,
- Member of the And Justice for All, Law Day Run Committee, 2016 to present,
- Sargent, United States Army National Guard, 300th Military Intelligence BCT, 141st BN, 2009 to 2017.
Articles and Presentations
Drilling into Anomalies of Fraud, Presented to:
- Utah ACFE Chapter, May 7, 2019,
- Utah State University, October 15, 2019,
- Utah State University, June 15, 2020,
- Utah State University, October 20, 2020,
- Dallas ACFE Chapter, February 11, 2021,
- Texas A&M University, April 5, 2021,
- Utah Valley University, January 27, 2022,
- Brigham Young University Hawaii, June 20, 2022.
I have provided professional services for a wide variety of purposes and in a wide variety of matters. This variety is because the foundational principles in forensic accounting, valuation, and economic damages can be appropriately applied in many different situations, the following attempts to broadly summarize the different types of matters I have worked on during my career: