Foodman CPAs & Advisors
Advising Clients on Complex Forensics and Tax Issues
|Stanley I. Foodman|
Whether advising clients, educating financial institutions or testifying in court, Stanley I. Foodman provides expert guidance on complex tax, compliance and fraud matters. “I believe in digging deeply to gather the information, analyzing the evidence and telling the truth,” says Foodman, who was one of Florida’s first forensic accountants. “I also want to go beyond the ‘preponderance of evidence’ standard and draw conclusions beyond a reasonable doubt, the criminal standard, so there is no question about the end result.”
As the CEO of Foodman CPAs & Advisors in Miami, Foodman leads a team of approximately eight professionals who specialize in complex international and domestic tax matters, forensic accounting, litigation support and advisory services. The firm’s client base spans a wide range of industries including high-net-worth individuals, business executives and professionals, financial institutions, governments, healthcare, entertainment and real estate organizations.
“We assist clients with a full range of accounting matters including compliance, voluntary disclosure, corporate and individual taxation, estate and trust tax and wealth planning,” says Foodman, who is a Florida certified public accountant (CPA), certified fraud examiner (CFE), insolvency and restructuring advisor, a certified anti-money laundering specialist (CAMS) and is certified in financial forensics (CFF).
“We are the forensic accounting and litigation support firm of choice for some of the best criminal defense, divorce and civil litigation attorneys in the business,” adds Foodman. “Companies and government entities depend on us for internal analysis and internal control systems to help prevent waste and fraud.”
“Our firm’s reputation is based on a consistent record of results, particularly in complex cases that require a creative approach,” Foodman says. “We work closely with attorneys in many types of cases that involve current or potential litigation.”
Launching His Career
Foodman was born in Miami Beach, grew up in Coral Gables and helped his father manage a retail store in Little Havana, where he learned Spanish. After graduating from Coral Gables High, Foodman attended Miami-Dade Community College and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting at the University of Miami in 1971 and a master degree in 1972.
After obtaining his CPA degree, Foodman joined Peat Marwick as an accountant. He then handled construction accounting and consulting for a public company before opening his own firm in 1980. Right from the start, Foodman was interested in the forensics side of the accounting field. “I got involved in a lawsuit against a general contractor for a U.S. Navy base in Jacksonville,” Foodman says. “The client’s attorney hired me as an expert accountant, and won the case.”
Foodman also began building an accounting and advisory practice, with a focus on international as well as U.S. transactions. In the mid 1980s, he opened an office in San Jose, Costa Rica, to serve clients interested in investing or moving some of their assets to Central America. After the real estate market downturn of 1987-88, Foodman closed that office, but continued helping individual and business clients from his Miami headquarters.
Along with providing clients with accounting and auditing services, Foodman became involved in federal and state criminal investigative matters. He served as an auxiliary special agent for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to investigate economic crimes, such as money laundering, bank fraud, public corruption and discovery of hidden assets.
“Because of my skill set in public accounting, the FDLE would lend me to federal agencies to help on their cases as well,” says Foodman, who was a consultant to the Miami office of the U.S. Attorney for civil racketeering and money laundering recoveries as well as for the U.S. Customs Service. He later joined the advisory board of the International Association for Asset Recovery.
During the 1980s and ‘90s, Foodman assisted other federal agencies in fraud, money laundering and other types of cases. Drawing on that knowledge, he also began advising attorneys and their clients on economic crime defense. “I was engaged by both criminal prosecutors and the defense in several matters when a conviction was a foregone conclusion,” Foodman says. “They wanted someone who would come up with an honest set of numbers for both parties prior to sentencing.”
Today, Foodman is frequently asked to serve as an expert witness in tax, money laundering, auditing and other types of matters. He also assists immigration and real estate attorneys in helping clients with tax planning, including compliance with the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA). In addition, he consults with attorneys from Latin America, Europe and other regions on matters relating to U.S. tax codes and compliance.
In addition to his professional activities, Foodman is an active member of the Anti- Defamation League and an informal mentor to younger professionals. He also teaches karate and unwinds by swimming, fishing, listening to operas and symphonies and watching sporting events. “Most of all, I enjoy time with my wife Etty, son Daniel (an attorney with WNF in Miami) and two grandsons,” he adds. “My family is everything to me.”
Foodman also serves as volunteer chairperson of the independent audit committee for the City of Miami.
A Push for Transparency
In the past decade, regulators around the world have taken steps to improve transparency in financial transactions, making it more difficult for terrorists and other criminals to conduct business or hide their flows of funds. At the same time, the U.S. government has taken steps to lift the veil of secrecy in traditional “tax havens” and make sure that individuals, companies and trusts are in compliance with federal tax codes.
In the past four years, Foodman has become a knowledgeable authority on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which requires foreign financial institutions to disclose information on accounts held by U.S. taxpayers who meet certain criteria.
“We advise clients and law firms on strategic issues like the voluntary disclosure of international tax liabilities,” Foodman says. “We look at the potential risks and help them navigate the provisions of a law that seems to be in constant evolution.” For instance, the government just asked the IRS to look more closely at small captive insurance companies, Foodman says. “There is also confusion about the treatment of foreign trusts, resulting in uncertainly about what has to be reported and the timeline for disclosure.”
Foodman is also an educator, helping South Florida financial institutions understand FATCA, anti-money laundering rules and other compliance issues. “A robust internal audit program is usually the best solution,” he adds.
Reflecting on the many roles of Foodman CPAs & Advisors, Foodman says, “We know our place in the scheme of things, and provide advice and litigation support within an accounting framework. If there are legal issues, we advise the client to speak with an attorney. A team approach is essential in navigating complex financial matters in today’s changing world.”