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Jeff Richardson

Jeff started his tax career in 1988 at a large national public accounting firm with the intention of getting his CPA license and then moving on. Instead he found a mentor that changed everything. Jeff ended up making partner and staying with the firm for over 17 years.

He founded RKE in 2006 to create a different type of accounting firm. His vision was to create a firm that had the big firm technical expertise, but small firm service. In addition, the firm would focus heavily on recruiting the best service professionals and retaining them through compensation, opportunity, training and offering a balanced lifestyle. This strategy has paid off and since inception, RKE has grown significantly from 6 people to close to 50 professionals, with minimal turnover.

As a tax specialist, Jeff concentrates primarily on proactive business and tax planning for closely-held companies and their owners. Jeff’s main emphasis is on developing creative ideas to reduce the overall tax burden at federal and state levels. This includes strategies for regular operations as well as entity formation and liquidation, owner succession services for business owners, mergers and acquisitions, accounting method changes and transactional analysis. He also regularly represents clients before the Internal Revenue Service, as well as numerous state taxing authorities.

Jeff’s industry specialization includes manufacturing, distribution and service companies. Jeff received his bachelor of science in accounting from California State University, Long Beach in 1988. He later received his master’s in business taxation from Golden Gate University in 1995.

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George Kontogouris

George received his bachelor of science in accounting from California State University, Long Beach in 1988. Prior to forming RKE in 2006, George spent the next seven years in public accounting at a large regional accounting firm. He then worked in the private sector as Chief Financial Officer for various sized manufacturing and distribution companies, and has served as acting Chief Financial Officer for a large boutique retailer with over 170 stores. George also represented the creditors’ committee in the bankruptcy of a large manufacturing company.

He later became the Chief Financial Officer of the company, led the workout team, ensured that pre-petition debt was paid, and remained with the company for ten years. George manages the firm’s Consulting Services Department, and is recognized for his ability to identify areas that can help clients enhance or improve their operations. He works directly with the owners and officers of the companies he serves.

George has represented creditors’ committees and debtors-in-possession as their accountant and financial advisor. He is also experienced in structuring and executing workout plans, and assisting companies in the analysis of their operations to provide for a more efficient and profitable organization.

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Maria Frausto

Maria graduated in 2004 from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. She began her public accounting career at a large regional accounting firm and later began her senior experience at a “Big Four” firm.

Maria joined RKE in September 2006. She provides federal and multi-state tax compliance services, strategic tax planning opportunities and various other consulting services to closely held businesses and their owners in various industries.

Maria’s experience also includes representing clients in IRS and state tax audits. She is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of California and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

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Christian Emerson

Christian Emerson, CPA, joined the firm in November 2006 to develop and manage the firm’s Assurance Services Department.

Christian’s responsibilities at RKE include technical leadership and oversight of the firm’s accounting and auditing services. Christian provides an array of accounting and auditing services to his clients including audits, reviews, internal control assessments, due diligence and consulting services. Christian has serviced companies from a wide range of discipline – from service providers and retailers to manufacturers and distributors. Christian also specializes in working with entities within the apparel industry.

Christian works with companies throughout their lifecycle, from start-up concerns to mergers and acquisitions. Christian received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Southern California’s School of Accounting. He is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in California, a member of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Christian was also an accounting instructor at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM).

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Hao Nguyen

Hao Nguyen started his public accounting career in 1997 providing tax and consulting services to a variety of clients in the manufacturing and distribution industries as well as others. He received his bachelor of science from Loyola Marymount University and a master’s in business taxation from the University of Southern California.

Hao’s focus is on medium sized, closely-held companies working closely with the owners with their business issues as well as tax planning and compliance needs. This includes strategies for regular operations as well as planning for purchase, sale, formation and liquidation of the business entity. He also regularly represents clients before the Internal Revenue Service, as well as numerous state taxing authorities.

Hao is a CPA licensed in California and is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

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Shannon Sugar

Shannon started her tax career in 1997 at a large national firm. She provides tax consulting and compliance services to middle-market clients and their owners, primarily in the manufacturing and distribution and professional service industries.

Her area of focus includes strategic tax planning for clients in the areas of multi-state and international operations, buy/sell issues, and mergers and acquisitions. She also has extensive experience representing clients before the IRS and other state taxing authorities. Shannon received her bachelor of science from Loyola Marymount University in 1997 and a master’s in business taxation from the University of Southern California in 2003.

She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, California Society of Certified Public Accountants and Loyola Marymount Accounting Advisory Board.

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Adam Wallace

Adam graduated from University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He later received his Master’s in Accounting from University of Southern California. In 2000, he began his public accounting career at a Big Four firm where he remained before joining RKE in the summer of 2014.

Adam’s range of client service experience includes federal and state tax compliance, income tax planning strategies, accounting methods optimization, GAAP accounting for income taxes, and merger and acquisition planning. Adam also volunteers his time by serving as a Board Member for the California Court Appointed Special Advocates Association, a foster youth centered non-profit organization. He is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in California, a member of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

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Tricia Chow

Tricia Chow provides a wide-range of tax consulting and compliance services for public companies, closely-held companies and their owners.

Her experience includes identifying and implementing domestic and international tax strategies, consultations regarding entity selection, transfer pricing, foreign tax credit planning, preparation of corporate tax provisions and disclosures, mergers and acquisitions, and representation before the IRS and state agencies.

Tricia Chow received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Accounting, from California State University Los Angeles in 1997 and a Master of Business Taxation (MBT) from the University of Southern California in 2003.

Tricia is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants.

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Jaclyn Stansbury

Jaclyn received her bachelor of science in accounting and bachelor of business administration in international business in 2006 from Loyola Marymount University. After graduation, she began working for a large regional accounting firm. Jaclyn joined RKE in 2008. Jaclyn’s experience includes preparation and review of various federal and multi-state corporate, partnership and individual income tax returns.

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