Associates. Forensic Financial Partners


Gary S. Watts CPA* JD

Gary Watts is an experienced CPA and attorney with 30 years of diversified and unique experience in financial due diligence, work outs, litigation support, fraud investigation, and forensic accounting.

Mr. Watts’ comprehensive leadership experience includes working directly for the Director of investigations at the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) during the Savings and Loan crisis. He was initially hired as a senior member of the “Drexel Task Force” to investigate and litigate the suit filed by the FDIC and RTC against Michael Milken and Drexel relating to their involvement in the S&L crisis. The task force’s actions ultimately achieved a $1 billion settlement. Mr. Watts went on to co-organize and manage the RTC’s Office of Special Investigations.

After the dissolution of the RTC in 1996, Mr. Watts continued to work as a Department Manager for the FDIC until 1998, where he conducted forensic accounting and fraud investigations of failed financial entities. He has extensively worked with the SEC, FBI and the Justice Department to thoroughly review and manage criminal financial fraud cases. He was also a member of the Securities Working Group, tasked with reviewing all major securities matters. His experience includes high-profile financial investigations involving top government officials and leading financial institutions. He personally identified and resolved previously undetected fraud issues, while expanding fidelity bond insurance cases from $500,000 to $100 million.

Before joining the Federal Government, Mr. Watts worked for a national NASD brokerdealer performing due diligence services for approximately 2,400 registered representatives approving $100 - $150 million of private placement capital per year. As a CPA, Mr. Watts also provided sophisticated tax and strategic planning services for large real estate companies and wealthy individuals. He was Director of Acquisitions for several Public Limited partnerships, responsible for annual purchases of $300 - $500 million in real estate over a 7-year period.

Since his departure from the FDIC, Mr. Watts has provided financial advisory services and conducted forensic engagements for a number of clients. These services have involved managing through business crises and bankruptcies, and assisting counsel with insolvency and other litigation. In particular, he has been regularly hired by the FDIC to assist counsel in investigating distressed borrowers and lenders. He has acted as a receiver, negotiated settlements, and provided expert testimony in matters regarding fraud, asset misappropriation, valuation, calculation of damages, and other business matters.  pdf  email  (714) 267-2578 

Our Associates

James R. Dudine

James Dudine is a former senior executive with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) with over thirty years experience as a financial institution supervisor. During the Savings and Loan Crisis of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, Mr. Dudine served as the Director of the Office of Investigations for the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC).

The RTC was a temporary agency created by Congress in 1989 to clean up the savings and loan crisis after the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Fund became insolvent. It acted as conservator and receiver for failed thrift institutions, marketing the franchises and disposing of assets. The RTC was also directed to investigate each failed thrift institution to determine the extent of malfeasance and to bring civil recovery proceedings against directors, officers and other professionals whose misconduct caused losses to the taxpayers.

Mr. Dudine initiated and directed the RTC’s nationwide investigative program establishing national policy and overseeing regional and field staff located throughout the country. The highly successful effort returned over $2.5 billion to the US Treasury.

Mr. Dudine has testified before Congress on several occasions and before the RTC’s Oversight Board. During his career, he worked diligently to promote information sharing among Federal regulatory authorities, the US Department of Justice, FBI and US Treasury resulting in the successful coordination of parallel civil and criminal recovery proceedings. Mr. Dudine holds an MBA from Southern Illinois University and a BS degree from Indiana State University. He is a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking, Rutgers University. pdf


Robert W. Russell

Mr. Russell’s practice with Smith Dollar PC focuses on financial institution supervision, director and officer liability, enforcement and fraud. Prior to joining Smith Dollar, Mr. Russell was Counsel to Office of Thrift Supervision Director John Reich, where he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Director’s office, including the development of agency banking policy and the preparation of Congressional testimony and speeches.

Mr. Russell was also Deputy to the Vice Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, advising on all matters coming before the Board of Directors. He served on the Case Review, the Assessment Appeals, and the Corporate Policy Committees, and headed up the FDIC’s International Technical Assistance and Foreign Visitor Program. He also served as Director of the FDIC’s Office of Policy Development where he was responsible for coordinating policy formulation on key issues relating to the Corporation’s overall mission, and was Special Assistant to Chairman Ricki Helfer, advising her on the most significant issues facing the FDIC.

Mr. Russell joined the FDIC as Senior Counsel in the Legal Division, first in the Professional Liability Section, where he managed the FDIC’s anti-fraud program, and subsequently in the Legislation and Regulation Section. He was responsible for coordinating the Corporation’s efforts on some of the most significant anti-fraud cases, including lead counsel in the Drexel, Burnham, Lambert case that resulted in a settlement in excess of $1 billion, the Daiwa case that resulted in the expulsion of a foreign bank from the United States, and the Bankers Trust matter, the first major derivatives case involving losses incurred by a federal financial institution.

Mr. Russell also led the FDIC’s Whitewater Task Force, served as the agency’s representative to the interagency Federal Bank Fraud Working Group, and as the FDIC’s representative on the steering committee to the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets.



David V. Hanzich

Mr. Hanzich is a Accredited in Businss Valuation (ABV), Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA), and Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) and is a qualified expert witness in business valuations, financial fraud investigations, economic damages, and other civil litigation matters. He also provides forensic and accounting services for estates and trusts such as tracing of assets, fiduciary/beneficiary disputes, accounting and tax compliance. He is also a family law financial expert and often serves as a 730 court appointed expert in the Superior Courts of Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino Counties. He has been appointed as a financial referee in civil litigation matters.