It is sincere appreciation for the talent, training, and abilities of Marty Guinn, CGA, CDE that is foremost in my thoughts as I write this letter of recommendation. I met Marty after our small, family-owned businesses became the target of a crafty, deceptive embezzler who, after stealing $183,000 in a four and a half year period by forging my name to checks, br0ught our businesses almost to their knees. This was no ordinary embezzler and forger—-she managed to evade detection not only by those of us with whom she worked closely, she also evaded detection by the CPA ﬁrm which audited the company annually, by the auditors from the National Association of Securities Dealers who appear unannounced, and by the Internal Revenue Service auditors. The forgeries were good enough to fool the bank for four and a half years» never once did they call, even though the embezzler was taking back thousands of dollars of cash a month from checks that were written on the companies. The forgeries were so good that my own husband, who has been my business partner for twelve years and my spouse for eighteen, had difﬁculty distinguishing the forgeries from my legitimate signature. After filing both criminal and civil charges against the embezzler, we took her deposition. During that deposition, she admitted to about $170,000 of the theft, but continued to vehemently deny an additional $13,000. The checks representing those $13,000 were also forgeries, but it was our word against hers.
That is, until Marty entered the picture. I interviewed all the handwriting analysts who were listed in the Nashville telephone book and chose Marty because her resume was impressive and because she expressed herself more ﬂuently than any of the others–an important quality for one who will be taking the witness stand. Marty more than met my expectations. Not only was she a credible witness, she also prepared several exhibits for the court. The most damaging one for the defendant depicted a row of several signatures that the cmhczzler admitted forging, then a row of legitimate signatures, and last a row showing signatures on the disputed checks. Once the signatures were lined up in the exhibit, it was very clear that the same person who had forged the admitted checks had also forged the disputed checks, even though the forgery was very good. It was equally clear that neither was my legitimate handwriting.
When the Assistant District Attorney called Marty to the stand and started to qualify her as an expert witness by asking about her credentials, defense counsel couldn’t stipulate Marty’s qualifications fast enough–trying to keep them out of the record. Before the hearing was over, the defendant took the stand and admitted that she had indeed forged the checks she had initially disputed.
Although I had engaged Marty privately after it appeared that the District Attorney‘s ofﬁce was not initially willing to pick up the tab for her services, after Marty’s performance the District Attorney’s office decided that it would be fair for them to pay a portion of Marty’s fee which, I might add, was very reasonable given the amount of work that she had to do in detecting this clever forgery and exposing this determined defendant.
I certainly hope that our businesses are never again the target of a despicable felon. However, if
they were, and if handwriting were at issue, the first person I would call is Marty Guinn-Pearce.