After earning a reputation as an aggressive, talented, and innovative prosecutor, Brian Poe decided to utilize those same attributes and legal skills, which he honed for over 10 years as a state and federal prosecutor, to representing those accused of state and federal crimes. Brian is a graduate of Texas A&M University and Southern Methodist University School of Law. Brian started his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney at the Dallas County District Attorney's Office, and quickly became one of the office's "rising stars" and go-to attorneys. Brian quickly promoted through the ranks as he gained experience trying cases ranging from DWI to Capital Murder. After successfully trying over 100 jury trials in state court, Brian was hired as a federal prosecutor at the United States Attorney's Office in the Northern District of Texas.
Initially, Brian prosecuted federal offenses throughout the entire district, appearing in federal court in Amarillo, Abilene, Dallas, Fort Worth, Lubbock, and Wichita Falls, but his primary duty stations were Dallas and Fort Worth. As an Assistant United States Attorney, Brian continued to prosecute violent crime and large scale drug organizations; however, Brian spent the majority of his time handling complex investigations involving a multitude of financial cybercrimes, including computer intrusion, theft of trade secrets, tax fraud, mail/wire fraud, bank fraud, money laundering, and violations of the Bank Secrecy Act.
Due to Brian's success in handling some of the most difficult cases in the district, Brian was frequently asked to give lectures for several law enforcement agencies or organizations, including the FBI, IRS, Homeland Security, and DEA on topics such as money laundering, asset forfeiture, Bank Secrecy Act investigations, synthetic drug cases, and prosecuting Hobbs Act robbery cases. After serving as a state and federal prosecutor for over a decade, and successfully trying approximately 150 trials, Brian now advises and represents individuals, companies, and organizations relating to issues involving state and federal criminal offenses.
Richard Y. Cheng’s practice focuses on corporate transactions, regulatory, compliance matters, and administrative appeals. His health care law practice includes representation of postacute care providers (e.g., nursing facilities, assisted living communities, continuing care retirement communities, home health care agencies, hospices, rehabilitation providers), community hospitals, management service organizations (MSOs), private equity groups and investors in health care, physician groups, ancillary providers (e.g., pharmacies, durable medical equipment companies, labs), retail medicine providers (e.g., urgent care centers, ambulatory surgery centers, emergency rooms), dental service organizations (DSOs), behavioral health, chiropractors, and veterinary practices.
Richard has considerable experience representing clients involving the Stark Law, the Anti-Kickback Statute, the False Claims Act, the Eliminating Kickbacks in Recovery Act, HIPAA, the HITECH Act, the Civil Monetary Penalties Law, state-based health care regulations, Medicare-related transactions (e.g., change of ownership), licensure surveys, the formation of MSOs and DSOs, managed care organization payment matters, Medicaid contracting, and Medicare appeals before administrative law judges.
Prior to joining Weaver Johnston Nelson, Richard was an equity partner and a member of the health care sector at one of the largest AmLaw 100 global firms. During his tenure, he launched the firm’s hemp/hemp products practice group, where he led multiple initiatives in building the firm’s reputation in cannabis. In addition, Richard formerly served as vice president and general counsel at two separate health care companies, where he assisted with change-of-ownership transactions, counseled on health care operational matters, and worked closely with outside counsel managing multiple litigation matters. He also created the medical appeals departments at both health care organizations, overseeing multiple staff members whom he trained, resulting in the successful recovery of millions of dollars in governmental and private health care insurance claims. Early in his career, Richard worked as a licensed occupational therapist; served as an adjunct faculty at multiple universities; and lobbied in Washington, D.C., through the American Occupational Therapy Association.
In addition to his traditional health care practice, Richard developed a cannabis regulatory and corporate practice in 2013. As a leading cannabis attorney, Richard served as outside general counsel to the Texas Cannabis Industry Association, coauthored an FDA primer in preparation for the 2019 FDA public hearing on CBD products and has been named a top 250 cannabis legal expert by Databird Research Journal. He represents a broad base of cannabis-related clients, including private equity groups investing in the cannabis industry, physicians, medical marijuana dispensaries, seed developers, cultivators, processors, wholesalers, retailers, distribution centers, and ancillary providers (e.g., testing labs, biomass brokerage firms) and marketers.
Andrew Escamilla is from Dallas, Texas. He is the Product Manager, AVP for Herring Bank's CBD & Hemp Banking program with over 15 years of experience in the banking sector. Andrew has worked to build a compliance program that now reaches 29 states by developing innovative banking solutions for farmers, manufacturers, retailers, and many others who work in the Hemp industry.
Cliff Porter has extensive experience spanning over 18 years working in both public accounting and in a corporate environment. He has specializations in a wide range of forensic accounting services, including expert witness preparation, corporate investigations, forensic data analytics, dispute and litigation and fraud risk management. One of Cliff's roles prior to joining FFA was in an Ethics and Compliance role as the Global Investigations Manager for a Fortune 100 company, investigating internal allegations of fraud and misconduct including embezzlement, anti-corruption and financial reporting fraud.
Prior to joining FFA, Cliff worked for a big four accounting firm, including three years on a secondment to the firm's Australia practice where he was primarily responsible for developing a forensic data analytic team to provide stronger technological techniques in investigations and dispute work.
Special Ranger, Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association
Joe Aguilar is a Special Ranger with the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association where his the regional supervisor for Special Rangers serving from Val Verde County to Victoria County. The TSCRA Special Rangers are tasked with conducting criminal investigations within the agriculture and livestock communities in the state of Texas and Oklahoma. Special Rangers are commissioned as state peace officers in their respective area of responsibility.
Aguilar served as a firefighter/fire investigator for 7 years before becoming a police officer with the City of Mission. Aguilar was assigned to the patrol division for 15 months before being transferred to the criminal investigations division. There, Aguilar conducted general investigations including property and persons crimes. A year later Aguilar was transferred to the Major Crimes Unit where he was tasked with conducting larger scale investigations such as bank robberies, kidnappings, murder, organized crime and narcotics. During his tenure with the unit, Aguilar developed a cybercrimes unit that led to the capture and prosecution of numerous online predators. Continuing his venter in to
the electronic world, Aguilar became the resident expert in cellphone investigations and forensics. Aguilar taught numerous courses around the State of Texas educating officers and prosecutors on the utilization of cell phones in their daily investigations. In 2015 Aguilar was assigned to a federal agency as a task force officer conducting organized crime and narcotic investigations around the United States and
Mexico. Aguilar served the City of Mission for over 16 1⁄2 years as a Detective.
In 2018 Aguilar took a job as a Special Ranger for the TSCRA. Aguilar conducted agriculture investigations such livestock theft, fraud and equipment theft from the coast along the Rio Grande River to Laredo, encompassing 7 counties. In 2022 Aguilar was promoted to regional supervisor. Aguilar has conducted numerous educational programs for local, county and state law enforcement on agriculture crimes.
Aguilar served as a regional director and training coordinator for the south region of the Texas Narcotics Officers Association from 2007 to 2022.
Aguilar earned a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Texas A&M commerce and in currently
enrolled in the master’s program at Lamar University.
Austen approaches our clients’ cases with the same tenacity and focus that led him from El Paso public schools to Harvard University. As a trial lawyer, he draws on his experience as a fifth-grade teacher in El Paso to persuasively communicate complex concepts and arguments in an easy to understand manner.
Austen has been a key player and invaluable contributor to several of the firm’s biggest cases since he joined in 2016. Austen was the lead associate defending clients in a years-long non-compete case that the other side walked away from on the eve of trial. He also has taken the lead in handling a variety of lawsuits for a group of investors defrauded in a Ponzi scheme and successfully resolved numerous complex commercial, employment and property-related disputes.
Prior to joining the firm, Austen was an associate in the Dallas office of Andrews Kurth.
Jason E. Meadows is the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS/OIG), Dallas Region. Jason began his federal career in 2000, conducting background investigations as a Personnel Security Specialist for the Treasury Department, Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Fort Worth, TX. In 2001, Jason began his career in Federal law enforcement as a Special Agent with HHS/OIG in the Dallas Regional Office. He successfully investigated numerous complex criminal and civil cases resulting in the recovery of millions of dollars and numerous convictions and awards. In 2005, Jason was awarded the Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service after he responded to New Orleans, LA in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Jason was awarded two Law Enforcement Commendation awards from the United States Attorney’s Office as an agent in the Dallas Regional Office. As an HHS/OIG Special Agent Jason participated in Operation FALCON with the United States Marshal’s Service, in which his team was charged with the apprehension of federal fugitives including multiple murder suspects.
In 2008, Jason was promoted to Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) in Dallas, TX. As ASAC Jason led personnel in the offices of Dallas, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Little Rock, Shreveport, and New Mexico. In 2010, Jason opened the McAllen Field Office, hiring all four agents and leading that office until 2015. Jason’s leadership of multiple field offices resulted in recoveries of more than $1.2 Billion, 150 criminal convictions, and 213 civil settlements. Jason held multiple collateral duties as ASAC in the Dallas Region including Training ASAC, Protection Coordinator, Undercover Coordinator, Opioid Coordinator, and ESF #13 Coordinator. Jason was promoted to Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Region in March 2023. As Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Region, Jason leads all law enforcement operations of HHS/OIG in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Mexico. Jason has six Assistant Special Agents in Charge under his leadership and is responsible for 68 Special Agents and administrative staff in five states.
Jason holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Midwestern State University.
Rick Velasquez was a Special Agent with the FBI for more than 25 years. He was assigned to the Dallas Field Office his entire career, spending 21 years in the Plano/Frisco Resident Agency. He specialized in the investigations of complex financial crimes.
In addition to investigative work, Rick spent over 10 years on the Dallas SWAT team where he participated in numerous high-risk arrests and 2 years on the Crisis Management Team where he assisted in the coordination of command posts for high-profile cases.
After retiring from the FBI, Rick formed an investigative and consulting company called Baird-Velasquez and Associates, Inc. He is also the author of a book called Texcot: Dreams, Lies and Fraud which is a story about one of his investment fraud cases.
Christopher J. Altemus Jr. is Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation’s (CI) Dallas Field Office. Christopher was named to this position in August 2021 and reports directly to the Director of Field Operations for the Southern area.
Christopher is responsible for planning, directing, and evaluating activities of CI employees in the states of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and North Texas.
CI’s mission is to serve the American public by investigating potential criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code and related financial crimes in a manner that fosters confidence in the tax system and compliance with the law.
Although the core mission of Criminal Investigation is the investigation of income tax evasion, Criminal Investigation is often called upon to partner with other law enforcement agencies to provide financial investigative expertise in combating criminal activity in the areas of money laundering, narcotics, terrorist financing, cyber-crimes, and identity theft. Criminal Investigation investigates and assists in the prosecution of significant financial crimes that generate the maximum deterrent effect, enhance voluntary compliance, and promote public confidence in the tax system.
Prior to this role, Christopher has served in numerous leadership positions, including Supervisory Special Agent in the Raleigh Post of Duty, Senior Analyst Operations Policy & Support in Washington, D.C., Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Charlotte Field Office, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Nashville Field Office, and most recently as Director of the National Criminal Investigation Training Academy (NCITA) for IRS Criminal Investigation.
Eunice Choi is a Special Agent and Public Information Officer (PIO) in the Dallas Field Office. Eunice is responsible for working cases and also communicating with the general public about the impactful work IRS:CI agents are doing every day. Before becoming a special agent, Eunice worked both in the public and the private sector. She worked at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office as a financial intelligence analyst, an investigative analyst for IRS:CI, and worked in the private sector managing and directing global anti-money laundering programs. In 2019, Eunice graduated from the training academy and began her career in the New York Field Office.
Former ACFE President & CEO
Civil & Criminal Trial Attorney
Former CFO of HealthSouth
Former FBI operative
Former Enron CFO
Former FBI Special Agent
Former ACFE Regent
Former ACFE President
ACFE Speaker of the Year
Author, Trade-Based Money Laundering
Interested in speaking at this year's conference? Contact email@example.com.