Shawn Pickens is a Managing Director in Houston, specializing in forensic accounting services and economic damage quantification. Shawn has led the investigations into allegations of misappropriation of assets, accountant malpractice, management misconduct, financial reporting misstatements, departures from safe and sound banking and business practices, and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He has also testified at deposition and trial, analyzed historical financial results of a wide variety of businesses and for numerous purposes, including forecasting future financial results, purchase price disputes and lost profits calculations, Shawn has quantified losses sustained from numerous insured events sustained by food wholesalers, manufacturers, oil field service companies, upstream, mid-stream and downstream oil and gas companies, petrochemical manufacturers, electricity providers, airlines, financial institutions and the hospitality industry.

Prior to joining The Claro Group, Shawn led the Gulf Coast Region insurance claims consulting practice and was a leader in the forensic investigations services practice of a global consultancy.

Experience +

Reconstruction of books and records of a bankrupt global telecommunications company

Led an international team of accountants and forensic investigators to reconstruct the books and records of the United Kingdom subsidiary of an international telecommunications company that had terminated its accounting staff in the wake of a multimillion dollar fraud. Worked along-side teams around the globe to reconcile intercompany accounts and identify correcting entries as needed. Upon completion of the work, the surviving organization was able to emerge from bankruptcy.

Investigation into failed financial institutions in the wake of the 2008 banking crisis

Assisted federal financial institution regulator to investigate the actions of bank management and independent auditors of failed financial institutions of financial institutions that failed during the 2008 financial crisis in an effort to determine cause and culpability. Documented fact bases used by the regulators to pursue millions of dollars of recoveries resulting from managements’ failures to exercise safe and sound banking practices and accountant malpractice. Examined bank managements’ adherence to banking regulations and accountants’ adherence to professional standards, including requirements for planning, staffing and executing audits as well as proper interpretations of Generally Accepted Accounting Standards.

Investigated claims submitted to the Deepwater Horizon Economic Claims Center for indicia of fraud

Under the direction of the Special Master to the Courts for the Deepwater Horizon Economic Claims Center (“DHECC”), investigated claims submitted under the court-supervised Settlement Agreement for indicia of fraud. Tasks included identifying potentially fraudulent activities and information as well as interrogating DHECC’s records utilizing tools such as Structured Query Language, or SQL, for claims similarly situated to those that have been deemed fraudulent. Constructed dossiers of evidence in support of fraud contentions.

Led the investigation into alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Investigated allegations of violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by a European-based multi-national automobile manufacturer. Inspected in-country books and records of the entity in over 90 countries for evidence of illicit payments. Investigation findings enabled the company to favorably settle with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Loss quantification and claim negotiation of an international electricity generator

Assisted an international electricity provider to recover hundreds of millions of dollars in insured losses accruing from fifteen electricity generation facility failures, including facilities located in The Netherlands, California and Nevada. Fourteen of the fifteen claims were successfully settled while the loss model for the remaining one claim was accepted and utilized in litigation.

Loss quantification and claim negotiation of a “super-major” oil company

Quantified losses stemming from a crude unit fire for a Super-Major oil company. Accumulated and validated data to support the claim, advised on claim presentation strategy, rebutted challenges from insurer representatives and developed an analysis of insured and insurer policy interpretation positions that assisted the company to rapidly negotiate and settle a $150 million-plus property and extra expense claim.

Education +

B.S.B.A., Accounting, Drake University, 1992

M.B.A., Drake University, 1993

Certifications +

Certified Public Accountant (licensed in Texas)

Certified Fraud Examiner

Memberships +

Board Member, Houston Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners

Awards +

President’s Award, Houston Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, 2016

Publications & Speaking Engagements+

Three key takeaways in addressing potential for business fraud in the wake of the Wells Fargo scandal – Houston Business Journal, November 7, 2016

Ask the Expert – Houston Chapter of the ACFE Quarterly Newsletter, 2nd Quarter 2015

Strategies for Dealing with Expert Witnesses… to you and your clients’ advantages – Harrison, Bettis, Staff, McFarland and Weems, LLP, March 2009

Fraud Risks in the Energy & Resources Industry – Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP National Summer Seminar, July 2007• Insurance Claim Disputes – Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP National Training Session, November 2006

Business Insurance Claims: Have You Read Between the Lines? – Deloitte D Brief Series, October 2006

Insurance Claims – Putting the Pieces Together – Society of Depreciation Professionals Annual Meeting, September 2006

The Business Interruption Worksheet – Solving the Mystery – Global RIMS Conference, April 2006

Antifraud Programs and Controls Seminar – Deloitte & Touche LLP Program Clientele October and November 2005

Consideration of Fraud in the Audit – Deloitte & Touche LLP National Training Seminars, Numerous deliveries from 2005 – 2007

Practices +Insights +

Articles & Publications

  • "5 Insurance Claim Disputes To Avoid After The Storm"5/24/2018

    Claro's Karl Killian and Shawn Pickens partner up with Trahan Kornegay Payne's Nancy Kornegay to share common business interruption policy language that frustrates expedient claim settlements and suggestions for improvement. "5 Insurance Claim Disputes To Avoid…