by Mike Vogel
Updated 7 months ago
Fort Lauderdale CPA Soneet Kapila got his introduction to forensic accounting in the mid- 1980s, when the accounting firm where he worked was tapped to help in the celebrated Miami case of Alberto Duque, who swindled more than $100 million from American banks. “I didn’t know how to spell the word bankruptcy. I was green,” Kapila says. He soon realized, “This is fun. Who wants to be an auditor?”
He launched Kapila & Co. in 1993 to specialize in forensic accounting and insolvencies and has become one of Florida’s leading such specialists. His highest profile cases were as a trustee trying to recover money in boy band producer Lou Pearlman’s Ponzi scheme in Orlando and as a fraud consultant for the Securities and Exchange Commission on the Woodbridge Group of Cos. $1.3-billion Ponzi. Of late, he’s been busy liquidating Tampa-based Laser Spine Institute, which closed in March, throwing 500 people out of work. He’s also still at work on the litigation stemming from the collapse of Akshay Desai’s Universal Health Care Group in St. Petersburg in 2013. Kapila formed a partnership with accountant Barry Mukamal in 2014.
KapilaMukamal has no traditional accounting practice. It relies on its track record to get work from law firms, lenders, receivers and regulators. The rising economic tide has brought less insolvency work, but the firm is busy with fraud cases from receivers and working for the Federal Trade Commission and the SEC.
“Ponzi schemes are not going to go away,” Kapila says. “Until the water subsides, they don’t surface to the eyes of the people. The day’s going to come when they surface.”
Read more in Florida Trend's October issue.
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