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FORENSICS

Paul Ostling made his foray into forensics as a young associate with the major law firm of Chadbourne Parke Whiteside & Wolff. It was prior to the enactment of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and a time when numerous prominent companies found themselves embroiled in bribery and foreign contract scandal. Ostling assisted partners in conducting forensic investigations on behalf of several of the firm’s clients.

Those cases caught the attention of Arthur Young (AY), one of the ‘Big Eight’ accounting giants (which later became Ernst & Young (EY) with its merger with Ernst & Whitney in 1989). Joining AY in 1977 as Assistant General Counsel, Ostling immediately became the attorney responsible for the global forensic investigation involving the Fortune 500 firm, International Systems & Controls and its alleged bribes for major contracts in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Ivory Coast, Guyana as well as other Latin American and Asian locations.  He was promoted to Associate General Counsel in 1979.

Over a 10-year period, Ostling led the legal forensic efforts while working with the accountant team on the global review. He also participated in the SEC formal investigation, defending class actions and  10b(5) actions along with an action commenced by a consortium of banks, firmly establishing him an expert on the Percentage of Completion Method of Accounting and the FCPA.

In the years that followed, Ostling led and participated in several significant forensic investigations including tax allegations related to Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro. He led EY’s forensic team in investigating EF Hutton’s cash management practices and testified before the U.S. Congressional Committee. He represented EY’s legal efforts regarding the failure of Swiss banks and insurance companies to turn over assets held on behalf of Holocaust survivors, and he oversaw the distribution of those funds to the rightful heirs scattered across the world. He was the senior Global Officer assigned to the Oil for Food Investigation conducted by EY in Iraq and elsewhere for the Joint Coalition and later the Iraqi Government.

As a result of 30 years leading forensic investigations, Ostling is not only regarded as an expert on the FCPA and the relevant U.S. Securities laws relating to bookkeeping, accounting, reporting and the relevant U.S. Code criminal provisions relating to wire fraud and perjury, but also to the relevant laws in the United Kingdom, Russia and other jurisdictions.

Since departing EY, Ostling’s involvement in major forensic investigations continued including as Audit Committee Chairman of a public company, he led two major FCPA investigations: one pertaining to Russia; the other to Uzbekistan. He also served as Chairman of the investigation into the alleged violation of U.S. and EU-related bank-imposed sanctions provisions in the rail industry.  

Ostling’s forensics investigations have taken him across the country and throughout the world investigating cases of corruption, insider trading and improper reporting and dealings. Some of the areas include:

  • Texas (insider trading case)

  • Russia (corruption and unfair dealings)

  • Italy (corruption and improper dealings)

  • Indonesia (corruption and improper reporting)

  • Vietnam and Cambodia (corruption and unfair dealings)

  • Argentina (unfair dealings)

  • Venezuela (corruption and improper accounting and reporting)

  • The Philippines (corruption and unfair dealings)

  • Hong Kong (improper accounting and reporting)