Arnold Y Castillo
J.S. Held LLC
800 Brickell Ave, Suite 710
33131, Miami, USA
Peers and clients say:
"Arnold was excellent in providing a secure strategy for a complex security matter"
"He's very focused and great to work with"
"His long tenure in this field has allowed him to establish an excellent network"
Arnold Y. Castillo (economist from the University of Lima with a master in International Business from Florida International University) is a managing director at J.S. Held and leads the global investigation practice for Latin America & the Caribbean. Arnold has over 22 years in the investigations field with significant experience managing high-stakes and complex corporate investigations, litigation support, global asset searches, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)/Anti-Money Laundering (AML) investigations, and ICSID arbitration matters.
What motivated you to become a forensic accountant?
Investigation is my passion, first gather strategic intelligence and facts across multi jurisdictions and present findings to guide our clients to navigate complex situations related to internal fraud, corruption rings and asset tracing is one of the most gratifying aspects of my career. In some cases, forensic accounting is a key component during the investigative process.
Why do you think there has been noticeable growth in demand for forensic accountants?
Due to the current global economic environment and increased focus on corporate responsibility and compliance, investigators and forensic accountants are key in assisting organisations identifying and addressing occupational fraud. Lapses in the financial controls environment also can challenge corporate senior management and potentially damage their reputation if they are not addressed in a timely way.
What new types of fraud have you seen emerge recently? How are you ensuring that you and your clients are well-equipped to tackle the forensic challenges they pose?
While I had not observed any new types of fraud, I have seen a sophistication in methods and a significant increase within the region of corruption-related internal frauds, including undisclosed conflict of interest, bribery, kickbacks, and vendor bid rigging. Clients are open to discuss potential risks based on our experience and how preventive assessments can help mitigate occupational fraud and reputational damage.
What is the most challenging part of your job, and why?
At the operational level to be able to assist organisations in monitoring and identifying patterns of potentially fraudulent activity, one of the most challenging situations is to obtain accurate and complete financial and operational data to perform data analytics to identify in timely manner instances of fraud in an organisation.
What skills are needed to successfully collaborate with lawyers, experts and authorities in different jurisdictions?
The ability to communicate clearly and accurately and to understand the context in which the companies are operating. Understand the cultural and business context environments where companies operate, which often involves multiple jurisdictions. Finally, manage client expectations and deliver results on time.
How do you stay informed and up to date with the latest technological advances?
I am an active member/speaker in multiple professional organisations who provide training and updates in best practices (arbitrage, compliance, security, etc.), in addition I attend and participate in conferences that are relevant to the industries we served. As an organisation we significantly invest in educational training in investigative methods and the latest technologies including the use of artificial intelligence to enhance data analytics.
Looking back over your career, what is the most memorable case you have been a part of?
Most of our work remains confidential; however, one of the most memorable cases I led involved the investigation of a senior member of management in a mining operation where the financial performance deteriorated rapidly with no apparent cause. We undertook a significant amount of on-site investigation in multiple jurisdictions to understand corruption rings, we developed data analysis, and we were able to quickly identify the source of the fraud as well as the location and parties responsible. Subsequently we were able to assist management with asset tracing and recovery of misappropriated funds.
You have enjoyed a very distinguished career so far. What would you like to achieve that you have not yet accomplished?
Most of my career has been dedicated to the investigation of fraud and corruption in public and private spheres of developing countries. I have been very fortunate to work in a significant number of jurisdictions of the Latin American and the Caribbean region and nurture relationships with their leaders, local authorities, and regulators. I would like to continue to give back to train a new generation of investigators that are part of organisations that fight public corruption and social conflict in developing countries.