John S. Worth is the new boss of the fraud squad.

Worth was recently hired by Deloitte & Touche LLP to head its Dispute Consulting Services practice for Southern California.

The 49-year-old Worth will be based at the firm's Los Angeles office and oversee the practice's services in fraud and forensic accounting, financial analysis and expert testimony, and business insurance claims.

The work is not unlike that of a detective.

"It's piecing together what happened. We apply forensic accounting techniques to find out what happened to cash, assets you name it," said Worth, a West Hills resident.

Worth previously was chief financial officer at Dallas-based Pinnacle Brands, which produces sports trading cards. Prior to that, he served as a partner at Arthur Andersen LLP's litigation consulting practice for the Southwest region.

In his new position, Worth oversees a team of 20 professionals in the Southern California office. Nationally, the practice employs 300 professionals, ranging from attorneys to licensed private investigators to former senior officials from the Justice Department and FBI.

In fraud and forensic accounting, Worth's group may track down what an employee stole from his employer. Once the theft has been discovered, Worth's division would follow the paper trail to allow the company to recover damages.

Or, for example, the company might be hired by the heirs of a wealthy deceased person to help locate the deceased's assets around the world.

Worth's division also helps companies file business insurance claims to maximize the allowable recoveries. Situations range from earthquake damage to a satellite lost in space.

"Most companies have (these events) once or twice in their lives, so they're not knowledgeable. We come through as a specialist to give insight," Worth said.

Chris Denina

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