PRINCETON, N.J.WithumSmith+Brown, PC (Withum), headquartered in Princeton, has named Laura Mercandetti as a senior manager within its Forensic Accounting and Litigation Services Group. The Colts Neck, N.J., resident specializes in white collar crime and money laundering investigations as well as the forensic accounting tools used to investigate, prosecute and defend these types of cases. She has extensive knowledge and expertise in criminal tax, money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) crimes charged under Titles 18, 26 and 31 of the United States, Internal Revenue Code.

Prior to joining Withum, Mercandetti was a Special Agent for the U.S. Department of Treasury, IRS, Criminal Investigation (CI) unit in the New York Field Office (NYFO). Her career as Special Agent spanned the course of 23 years and included promotions to Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) and Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC).

Recently retired as an ASAC in the New York Field Office, Mercandetti has worked extensively with the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in both the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, Department of Justice – Tax Division and other Federal, State, and Local law enforcement agencies. Throughout her career as an IRS-CI Special Agent, Mercandetti has provided expertise in the evaluation and forensic examination of documentary evidence. She has extensively interviewed subjects, witnesses and other third parties, compiled comprehensive reports detailing complex financial transactions, testified at judicial proceedings and assisted federal prosecutors with discovery, trial preparation and trial.

“Laura has successfully investigated and assisted federal prosecutors in financial crime indictments involving nationally and internationally based individuals and entities. Her reputation as an industry-leading expert in tax evasion, money laundering, public corruption, currency crimes, BSA violations, abusive tax shelters and healthcare fraud is stellar,” said Tom Hoberman, CPA/ABV/CFF, practice leader of Withum’s Forensic and Litigation Services. “We welcome Laura to the Forensics team, where her expertise will add even greater depth to what is already one of the top litigation support practices in the region.”

Mercandetti’s past achievements include:

  • Spearheading ground-breaking international investigations involving prominent foreign banks located in the Cayman Islands, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, along with foreign bankers and foreign asset managers who engaged in offshore tax evasion and money laundering with high-net-worth U.S. clients. These investigations led to the Treasury’s retrieval of hundreds of millions in lost tax revenues and confiscation of illegal profits.
  • Leading the investigation of one of the largest tax-shelter cases in CI’s history targeting one of the big four accounting firms, a high profile attorney based in a prominent New York law firm and boutique investment advisors, which culminated in a trial and led to the conviction of several executives.
  • Developing and implementing best practices and investigative models used in the prosecution of foreign financial institutions engaged in cross-border tax fraud and money laundering with high-net-worth U.S. clients.

Mercandetti is a certified public accountant (CPA) and certified anti-money laundering specialist (CAMS). She has a M.S. in economic crime management from Utica College and a B.S. in accounting from Hunter College. She is a member of the Association of Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) and a retired member of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association. She is a past recipient of the IRS, Commissioner Award of Excellence and Investigator of the Year Award issued from the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation. Mercandetti has also received countless IRS-CI Special Act and Performance Awards and was a dedicated Defensive Tactics, Building-Entry and Physical Fitness Instructor.

Established in 1974, Withum is a top-30 nationally ranked public accounting and advisory firm with 800 staff members and annual revenue of $140+ million. Offices are located throughout New Jersey (five locations, including its Princeton headquarters); New York City, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Boston, MA; Orlando, FL; Aspen, CO; and the Cayman Islands. The firm also is a member of HLB International, a worldwide network of independent professional accounting firms and business advisors committed to assisting clients build and expand globally.