Combined, our team has over 50 years of experience in income tax defense, financial investigations and litigation support. Our experience, attention to detail and advanced technology allows us to provide you the support you need. Please note: “THIS IS NOT A CPA FIRM” although Sage is associated with licensed CPAs. Sage does not perform financial audits nor attestation of financial statements.
EDMOND J. MARTIN
PRINCIPAL, CHIEF INVESTIGATOR
CERTIFIED FRAUD EXAMINER (CFE), TEXAS BOARD CERTIFIED INVESTIGATOR (TBCI)
Ed Martin grew up in the New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1968 he earned his degree in accounting from Southeastern Louisiana College (now the University of Southeastern Louisiana). Following graduation, Ed spent a year with a New Orleans CPA firm and then applied for a position with the Intelligence Division of the IRS. He accepted the job and from August 1969 to February 1970 he trained in federal law enforcement in Washington, DC. After returning to New Orleans he became part of the DOJ Strike Force team that investigated District Attorney Jim Garrison and the New Orleans Police Department for public bribery by the local pinball industry.
In 1975, Martin and his family moved to Austin, Texas where his career continued. After reaching senior agent status he became lead agent in the investigation and prosecution of income tax evasion cases and of multiple fraud investigations.
Martin resigned from the US Treasury Department in 1984 and worked as a Supervising Examiner for the Texas State Securities Board in Austin. This experience allowed Martin to become adept in broader definitions of fraud: Ponzi schemes (John Colgin–1985), oil and gas fraud, and securities fraud.
In 1991, Martin returned to the IRS Criminal Investigation Division as a Special Agent to investigate fraud and money laundering cases. Some of the cases Martin handled during this period included: the employee leasing company Ralph Kirkley, Inc. (1996), the advanced fee scheme of William Fourie (1996-1998), the Ponzi schemes of Russell Erxleben (1998-1999), and Brian Stearns (1999-2000). Martin was also lead agent and instrumental in solving the 5-year-old mystery of what happened to Madalyn Murray O’Hair and her two adult children (1997-2000). After the trial of one of the criminals convicted in the O’Hair case, the Austin Chronicle stated: “If not for the methodical investigation of Special Agent Ed Martin and the FBI they (Gary Karr and David Waters) would have gotten away with murder.”
After nearly twenty-six years Martin retired. He was presented with an award for his “Dedication to the Cause of Law Enforcement” by the US Attorney’s Office in Austin and he was nominated for the FBI’s Director’s Award. In 2002, Martin received the Law Enforcement Circle of Excellence Award from the Central Texas 100 Club and in June 2002 received the “Service Above Self Award” for the Austin Rotary Clubs.
Martin has been interviewed on American Justice, American Chronicles, TruTV, A&E and Discovery for his investigation of the disappearance and murder of Madalyn Murray O’Hair and her children.
Since retiring in October 2001, Martin launched a Sage Investigations, LLC a Private Investigation firm where he investigates various cases including forensic accounting, income tax defense, litigation support, corporate investigations and anything related to following money, including fraud and embezzlement and Ponzi schemes. In 2002, Martin joined the Texas Association of Licensed Investigators (TALI), and later in 2006 TALI awarded Martin a Meritorious Service Award for Investigative Excellence. In 2007 Martin tested and received the Texas Board Certified Investigator (TBCI) designation from TALI.
In 2006, Martin founded Cynic, Inc. and launched DIO, proprietary software for the investigation of complex fraud investigations, which takes advantage of data mining technology, document scanning, OCR capabilities, organizational services and reporting for the legal community.
Sage’s team of former IRS Criminal Investigators, Certified Public Accountants, and former FBI investigators, are solely committed to providing results that reflect the truth. Sage prepares a plan of action and proceeds to access the records that allow them to efficiently and effectively analyze financial matters in a variety of diverse cases. Their cases have ranged from $500,000 to millions of dollars in revenue. Their expertise has developed over 40 years in the area of fraudulent schemes (Ponzi schemes, vendor fraud, and sophisticated theft schemes), that once the money is traced, the extent of the scheme comes into focus. Sage Investigations provides fraud investigative services to six distinct markets: Tax Attorneys, Business and Corporate Attorneys, Estate and Probate Attorneys, CPAs, and individuals. Within those markets, Sage represents their clients in civil and criminal matters involving fraud, embezzlement, Ponzi schemes, and business disputes that involve following money trails and developing evidence to prove the client’s case on the plaintiff or defense mode.
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In August 2015 the Texas Association of Licensed Investigators awarded Edmond Martin, Founder of Sage Investigations, LLC the most distinguished, honourable and noble award that can be presented to a member of Texas Association of Licensed Investigators (TALI) by their peers. This award was established in remembrance of two outstanding deceased TALI members — Virginia Hudgins and David Sallee. The Hudgins-Sallee Award was established in their memory to exemplify the high moral and ethical standards by which a professional licensed private investigator adheres to in his/her services to the Texas Association of Licensed Investigators.
Edmond Martin has been a member the Texas Association of Private Investigators (TALI) since April 2002 and was Treasurer for 5 years and on the Board of Directors. He was elected as TALI President in August 2018 and will serve till August 2021.
Edmond Martin has been seen in television programs such as City Confidential, Vanished, American Justice, A&E, BBC, the documentary Good Riddance, and Murder by the Book all concerning his investigation of the disappearance of Atheist Leader Madalyn Murray O’Hair and her family. He is also prominent in the books “UnGodly The Woman Who Ended School Prayer in America” by Ted Dracos and “America’s Most Hated Woman” by Ann Seaman concerning Madalyn Murray O’Hair.
FINANCIAL INVESTIGATOR, TECHNOLOGY EXPERT
Jason Slick grew up in Alvin, TX. He earned his degree in mathematics and computer science from Texas State University in 1998. His early career experiences as a software engineer gave him the skills to become a world-class forensic financial investigator at Sage Investigations. At Sage, Jason’s diligence, productivity, and years of experience in mathematics and computer science make him the natural choice for the most complicated cases and large value asset tracing. He also is tasked with investigating databases, big data sets, cryptocurrency, custom point-of-sale systems, and all forms of digital data. His reports clearly communicate the essential evidence and are instrumental in proving financial narrative.
Not only does he excel in his work on cases, but Jason also developed the algorithms and essence of Sage’s case management software (DIO). This software allows the company’s reports to be far more accurate than those of any competing investigator. His software is based on the principle of following the money and does not rely on any simple accounting tricks. Furthermore, Jason, his software and team are both more precise, analytical and efficient, meaning lower costs for Sage’s clients.
DIRECTOR OF IRS CIVIL MATTERS
Born and raised through high school in Weslaco, Texas; graduated from Weslaco High School in 1954. Served in U.S. Air Force from August, 1954 through May, 1958.
Graduated from Pan American College (Now U.T. Edinburg) with B.A. degree in accounting in May, 1961. Accepted a position with the Texas State Comptroller of Public Accounts in June, 1961. In October 1961, accepted a position as Fiscal Accountant with the U. S. Veterans Administration (Now Dept. of Veterans Affairs) in Amarillo, Texas. In June 1962, transferred to U.S. Army Audit Agency in San Antonio, Texas as internal auditor. In June 1966 accepted a position with the Internal Revenue Service in San Antonio. In 1971 transferred to Austin, Texas with the Internal Revenue Service as GS-12. Licensed to practice as a Certified Public Accountant in Texas in October, 1978.
Promoted to Internal Revenue Agent GS 13 in March, 1982. This position included examination of business tax returns, including individual, corporation, partnership, and trust returns plus details an acting group manager, On-Job-Trainer, Review staff, Taxpayer advocate specialist, and other duties as assigned. Joseph retired from Internal Revenue Service in July, 1998.
In January 1999, established an accounting practice, to prepare tax returns and represent clients in Collection, Examination, and Appeals Divisions of the Internal Revenue Service.
Joseph has been associated with Sage Investigations, LLC since January 2002.
WILLIAM (BILL) GORENSTEIN, CPA
MANAGING DIRECTOR, FINANCIAL ASSET RECOVERY
Following his graduation from Temple University, with a BBA in Accounting, Bill joined Coopers and Lybrand LLC (C & L, now PriceWaterhouseCoopers), a Big 4 global accounting and consulting firm for five years, serving a variety of publicly and privately held companies in the healthcare, manufacturing, financial services sectors as a member of the audit staff working on financial audits and special investigations. In 1986, he became a Certified Public Accountant in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Bill is currently a CPA in the State of California with over 35 years of public accounting, health system finance and healthcare consulting experience with leading academic institutions, regional healthcare systems, teaching hospitals, public and private health systems, and research organizations. He specializes in Executive Financial Leadership, Financial Turnarounds, Strategic Planning, Revenue Cycle and Supply Chain Improvement, Operating Margin Enhancement and Financial Asset Recovery.
He was recruited from C&L by one of his largest clients, the University of Pennsylvania as their Assistant Comptroller. After several years of service he transitioned into financial management, as part of the team that formed the University of Pennsylvania Health System where he served in a variety of financial leadership roles over the next fifteen years. In 2008, Bill was recruited by the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, CA, a renowned biomedical research and clinical institution, as Vice President for Financial Operations, to lead their accounting, revenue cycle and supply chain. In 2010, he joined the University of Southern California (USC) as Associate CFO for two hospitals and was promoted to Chief Financial Officer in 2012, and was promoted again to System CFO of the newly established Keck Medicine of USC Health System. Bill left USC in May, 2014 to develop The WMG Group, LLC a company he formed to capitalize on his success.
Bill was in charge of many of the accounting and finance functions at Penn. Following his transition to the health enterprise he was responsible for the accounting and finance functions of several hospitals and physician practice plans. Bill’s leadership was instrumental in the establishment of the corporate shared services organization and integrated finance systems that supported the $2.5 billion system. In addition, he led the implementation of several new information systems, the acquisition and divestiture of various entities, and the restructuring of over $700 million of tax exempt debt resulting in net present value savings of $39 million. Bill successfully partnered with various organizational leaders and physicians to enhance the operating margin of the City of Hope by over $30M. Additionally, as CFO at the USC hospitals he spearheaded a $50+ million financial turnaround in his first year as CFO. The turnaround was realized with the support of physician and operations leadership was realized as a result of efforts in three main areas; a focused effort on labor management, supply chain optimization and the restructuring of the hospital’s per-diem contracts to acuity-based case rate contracts.
As President of The WMG Group, LLC consulting for Public and Private entities Bill’s services were instrumental in a financial turnaround of over $100 million of operating performance and $65 million in cash flow for one of his clients. He also identified and assisted another client improve their financial performance by $62 million. Over his career has been instrumental in the recovery of over $5 million of cash and financial assets for various entities.
In 2018, Bill established a business relationship with Sage Investigations, LLC as their Managing Director of Financial Asset Recovery.
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
American College of Healthcare Executives
California Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Healthcare Financial Management Association
DIRECTOR OF SURVEILLANCE AND UNDERCOVER
Kenton Stephens became a Licensed Private Investigator in the State of Texas in 2009. His experience includes surveillance, undercover operations, background checks and case research, including a familiarity with multi-jurisdictional state and federal records searches. He has also provided witness testimonies in multiple court trials.
Kenton received a B.S. in Criminal Justice in 1998, and he has a knack for undercover and surveillance work. His varied work history provides the experience needed to go unnoticed in a number of scenarios. His past jobs range from lifeguard to bar tender to legislative aide to enterprise computing sales to home building. He has logged over 950 hours of surveillance work.
He also has over 10 years experience in gathering and investigating corporate business structures, which taught him to be very resourceful. Give him a name and city, and he can find more information than you will ever find using Google. He presented a lecture to the Austin Chapter of Texas Association of Licensed Investigators (TALI) on Effective Use of the Internet to Jumpstart your Investigation.
In 2011, Kenton established a relationship with Sage Investigations, LLC.