Don Mullinax has spent much of his career investigating allegations of fraud and mismanagement, most notably the Belmont High School case. Now, as principal in the forensic and dispute services practice of Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP, he will be working in both the public and private sector in developing anti-fraud programs.
“I could have kept working for the government forever, but I wanted to try something else,” he said. “At Deloitte I’ll have broader responsibilities. Now I can give advice to cities, states and the government.”
As inspector general of the Los Angeles Unified School District, Mullinax was responsible for leading the $1.5 million investigation on Belmont, the new downtown high school that has remained closed because of environmental concerns about it being built atop explosive pockets of methane gas and an earthquake fault.
“It was my first project when I came to build an office in 1999,” said Mullinax, who found evidence of waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayers’ funds. “It was intimidating when I found out the depth of the problem.”
Mullinax began his career in fraud detection at the Department of Defense and then became an investigator for the U.S. Senate and director of contract investigation at the District of Columbia’s Office of the Inspector General.
In 1998, as part of a Senate subcommittee investigation, he tracked contaminated food products entering the U.S. “It’s a ripe area for fraud,” he said. “They try to find the best way to penetrate the U.S.”
Mullinax cites the work he did on health care fraud as the most important of his career. “People out there are knowingly looking to get Medicare numbers and rip off the elderly,” he said.
Mullinax enjoys running, reading, watching movies and spending time with his wife at their home in Pasadena. He has a daughter from a previous marriage.