Overview

Mr. Wills is a Managing Director with The Claro Group, and is located in Washington, DC. John has more than 35 years of experience in finance and accounting. He has served in senior financial roles in multiple organizations, including controller and chief financial officer. He has been responsible for financial reporting, FAR compliance, project cost accounting, and financial & regulatory audit compliance. Subsequently, he served as a partner in the financial advisory services practices for Arthur Andersen and PricewaterhouseCoopers for 9 years. He has spent the last 20 years advising clients in the following areas: quantifying economic damages, fraud investigations, accounting disputes, and valuation. Mr. Wills has directed over 250 engagements as a consulting or testifying expert. He has provided expert testimony in dozens of venues throughout the country on over 80 occasions.

Mr. Wills also has more than 12 years of experience as an adjunct accounting professor teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses. His most recent appointment was at Georgetown University. He has taught the following classes: principles of accounting, intermediate accounting, and cases in financial statement analysis. He has also taught specialized training classes, including the CPA review.

Experience +

Mr. Wills developed an economic loss analysis on behalf of the owners of an acquired entity in the bioscience contract manufacturing industry in a dispute with the acquirer based on a claim for additional consideration based on a pro forma analysis of future operating results. The case included an expert report and expert deposition testimony.

Mr. Wills testified in trial on behalf of the sellers in a business dispute involving the application of GAAP to post-acquisition financial statements. The case included an expert report and deposition testimony, in addition to the trial testimony. The case involved differences in the application of GAAP from the pre-acquisition period to the post-acquisition period and the impact on additional consideration in the form of an earn-out.

Mr. Wills has served as a cost accounting expert in a series of cases involving compensation for scientific studies under the FIFRA regulations. In these matters he has quantified the historical costs for thousands of studies conducted over several years. His work in this area has included multiple agro-chemical manufacturers. He has testified as an expert in numerous FIFRA arbitrations

He has also worked on numerous fraud cases. On behalf on GE Capital Mr. Wills served as an expert in investigating a fraud by a former officer of a subsidiary entity. In addition to the investigation, Mr. Wills developed expert reports, provided testimony as a 30(b)(6) witness, as an expert at trial. The matter was successfully resolved through settlement with multiple parties and a favorable judgment as a result of the trial.

Mr. Wills also served as an expert in the fraud investigation of the former CFO of a petroleum products supplier. The case included an expert report and extensive support of counsel for the company as well as criminal prosecutors. The case resulted in restitution and a criminal conviction.

He also worked on the fraud investigation of the controller of a DC based non-profit. The investigation resulted in the quantification of numerous fraudulent conversions of assets, primarily cash. Our findings were used by counsel for the entity, and local prosecutors, in restitution and criminal claims.

He provided expert testimony in deposition and before an arbitration panel in an alleged financial reporting fraud in conjunction with the acquisition of an entity in the transportation services industry. The case was resolved with a favorable ruling from the arbitrator.

Mr. Wills worked with counsel as a consulting expert on behalf of a former Fortune 500 CEO who was under indictment for fraudulent financial reporting. The case resulted in an acquittal at trial.

Mr. Wills was engaged as a testifying expert by counsel for a former Fortune 500 CEO accused of earnings management, among other counts. The matter was resolved through settlement.

Mr. Wills has served as an economic damages expert in dozens of cases involving wrongful death or personal injury.

His work also includes the analyses of economic damages in wrongful termination actions

He has served as a testifying expert in several of the cases in various courts throughout the United States and its territories.

Mr. Wills has quantified economic damages arising from numerous causes, including: aviation and maritime accidents, construction accidents, and medical procedures.

Mr. Wills assisted the Special Master of the Victims Compensation Fund for 9/11 in evaluating economic damages from the tragedies of 9/11. He assisted in developing the compensation models, as well as the application of the models to Mr. Wills was engaged as a damages expert in a case involving allegations of theft of trade secrets, among other counts, involving a former employee of a manufacturing company. Mr. Wills prepared an expert report with multiple computations of damages including lost profits and diminished enterprise value. The case was successfully resolved through settlement.

He prepared expert reports and provided expert testimony in a series of disputes between a spinal parts manufacturer and a start-up competitor. The cases involved individual employees, brokerages that were established to sell the competitor’s products, and the competitor. The case included multiple reports, as well as several depositions. The claims included: trade secret misappropriation, breach of covenants not to compete, and tortious interference, among others. Economic damages included numerous measures, including: lost profits and unjust enrichment/disgorgement. We worked with three law firms representing the defendants. The cases were all successfully settled.

Mr. Wills also worked on a claim alleging tortious interference in a dispute between an artificial joint and spinal parts manufacturer and a former sales representative. Mr. Wills prepared an expert report. The case was successfully settled.

He testified as an expert witness in an arbitration hearing as a result of a VP for a major national bank leaving to join another national bank in a similar role. The allegations included violations of a covenant not to compete and theft of trade secrets. As part of his work in the case Mr. Wills developed a multi-year analysis of economic damages on behalf of the plaintiff.

Mr. Wills was engaged as a damages expert in a case involving allegations of theft of trade secrets, among other counts, involving a former employee of a manufacturing company. Mr. Wills prepared an expert report with multiple computations of damages including lost profits and diminished enterprise value. The case was successfully resolved through settlement.

He prepared expert reports and provided expert testimony in a series of disputes between a spinal parts manufacturer and a start-up competitor. The cases involved individual employees, brokerages that were established to sell the competitor’s products, and the competitor. The case included multiple reports, as well as several depositions. The claims included: trade secret misappropriation, breach of covenants not to compete, and tortious interference, among others. Economic damages included numerous measures, including: lost profits and unjust enrichment/disgorgement. We worked with three law firms representing the defendants. The cases were all successfully settled.

Mr. Wills also worked on a claim alleging tortious interference in a dispute between an artificial joint and spinal parts manufacturer and a former sales representative. Mr. Wills prepared an expert report. The case was successfully settled.

He testified as an expert witness in an arbitration hearing as a result of a VP for a major national bank leaving to join another national bank in a similar role. The allegations included violations of a covenant not to compete and theft of trade secrets. As part of his work in the case Mr. Wills developed a multi-year analysis of economic damages on behalf of the plaintiff.

Mr. Wills has directed dozens of engagements, and provided expert testimony, based on the quantification of lost profits. His work in evaluating lost profits covers a wide range of industries from government contractors to healthcare entities.

Mr. Wills has also evaluated economic damages claims involving unjust enrichment/disgorgement theories. These cases have included a range of industries, from software development to medical parts manufacturing.

For several of the largest HMO organizations in the country Mr. Wills evaluated lost profits related to premium underpayments for federal employment enrollees. These cases included numerous settlements and one trial in the Court of Federal Claims. Mr. Wills provided expert testimony at numerous depositions, as well as at trial.

For an e-discovery hardware manufacturer, Mr. Wills compiled lost profits stemming from a trade secret infringement, among other counts. His work included an expert report as deposition testimony. The case settled the day before trial.

Counsel for an advertising media company engaged Mr. Wills to compute lost profits damages related to various tort allegations. The case included numerous expert reports and depositions. The case settled early into the trial.

For a major computer services company, Mr. Wills was engaged to lead a team evaluating lost profits stemming from an outsourcing contract that was terminated in violation of the contract between the parties. Mr. Wills submitted an expert report and provided expert testimony at deposition. The case settled.

Mr. Wills has worked in numerous engagements involving the valuation of professional services entities. These valuations have included: law practices, accounting practices, management consulting firms, and mortgage brokerages.

He has also performed valuation services in a wide range of industries, including: commercial real estate development, residential real estate development, mixed use real estate development, marine construction, co-gen electric power development, helicopter tourism, commercial shipping communication, not-for-profit publishing, web-based design services, specialty food manufacturing and health insurance operations. His work has included valuation opinions, calculated values, and appraisal reviews.

Education +

B. S., Business Management & Psychology, Magna Cum Laude, Towson University, 1974

M.B.A., Finance, Loyola University - Maryland, 1985

Certifications +

Certified Public Accountant – CPA – Licensed in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC

Accredited in Business Valuation – ABV

Certified in Financial Forensics – CFF

Chartered Global Management Accountant – CGMA

Certified Fraud Examiner – CFE

Certified Valuation Analyst – CVA

Master Analyst in Financial Forensics – MAFF

Accredited in Business Appraisal Review - ABAR

Memberships +

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants – Member

Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants – Member

National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts – Member

Association of Certified Fraud Examiners – Member

Washington Metropolitan Chapter – Association of Fraud Examiners - Member

Practices +