Indianapolis (Feb. 27, 2004) -- In response to a growing need for fraud-related services, top-ranked accounting and consulting firm Crowe Chizek & Co. said it has launched a forensic services and investigations practice.

The launch of the FSI practice is an effort to align under one umbrella fraud services that previously were provided to clients by different business units, according to the firm.

"By formalizing this full-scale practice, we're tapping into areas of expertise that have been developed as a result of Crowe Chizek's continued growth," said Crowe Chizek chief executive Mark Hildebrand. "The FSI practice combines our financial and technology expertise with our depth of industry understanding and knowledge of the legal process."

The firm's FSI services are directed toward financial institutions, dealerships, and government, health care and not-for-profit agencies, and other commercial entities. Services include risk management, forensic accounting, internal and external investigations, forensic technology, background and asset searches, and expert witness testimony.

The practice will be led by Mari Reidy, a CPA and certified fraud examiner who has more than 11 years of experience in providing auditing, forensic accounting and investigative services. Reidy is joined by Curtis Crawford, a former Chicago FBI supervisory special agent who has more than 27 years of criminal justice experience in areas including organized crime, public corruption, bankruptcy fraud, financial fraud and drug investigation.

"We're expanding this practice to address the growing issue of white-collar crime and to continue to find ways to help existing and potential clients curb the effects of these criminal acts," said Reidy.

Crowe Chizek holding company Crowe Group LLP reported revenue of $247.3 million for fiscal 2003.

-- WebCPA staff

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