Berman Tabacco

James A. Houghton

Senior Investigator

James A. Houghton

Based in the firm’s Boston office, James A. Houghton is a fraud investigator and forensic accountant with thirty years federal law enforcement experience prior to joining the firm in 2016. Mr. Houghton conducts complex investigations into fraud schemes, including securities fraud, anti-trust matter, and whistleblower claims. Mr. Houghton is a Certified Fraud Examiner, and licensed Private Investigator. He uses his skills and experience to gather evidence of fraud, by obtaining information through review of open source materials and conducting interviews of former suspect company employees. Mr. Houghton held a Top Secret, Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) Security Clearance.

Mr. Houghton served as a Special Agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) from 1984 through 1998, both in Norfolk, VA and Boston, MA. From 1998 through 2016 he was a Special Agent with Department of Defense Office (DOD) of the Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) in Boston, MA. During this time Mr. Houghton conducted investigations involving DOD programs including healthcare, aerospace contractors, money laundering, public corruption, and the False Claims Act (QUI TAM). Many of these concerned Special Access Programs (SAP) and TS/SCI programs. The results of Mr. Houghton’s efforts on these investigations lead to criminal convictions, multi-million-dollar civil settlements, and asset forfeiture.

Experience

  • As an NCIS agent, investigated the activities of Systems Management American Corporation, Norfolk, VA involving a large U.S. Navy program. The investigation uncovered conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government, public corruption, and obstruction of justice. The investigation resulted multiple criminal convictions including Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO). For his efforts on this investigation Mr. Houghton received a Department of Justice (DOJ) Award for Public Service.
  • As a DCIS agent, conducted the investigation that prevented the theft of $1.6 million in gold from Stern Leach, Inc., Attleboro, MA. Individuals posed as DOD employees and attempted to steal the gold claiming it was to be used on a government program.
  • At DCIS, uncovered a scheme by a brother and sister; Allen Thrower and Marie Cimino; to obtain millions is sole source U.S. Army contracts. The scheme involved money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the government. The investigation resulted in criminal convictions, and asset forfeiture. Mr. Houghton received a DOJ Award for Public Service for his efforts on this investigation.
James A. Houghton Senior Investigator
Boston
One Liberty Square
Boston, MA 02109

Based in the firm’s Boston office, James A. Houghton is a fraud investigator and forensic accountant with thirty years federal law enforcement experience prior to joining the firm in 2016. Mr. Houghton conducts complex investigations into fraud schemes, including securities fraud, anti-trust matter, and whistleblower claims. Mr. Houghton is a Certified Fraud Examiner, and licensed Private Investigator. He uses his skills and experience to gather evidence of fraud, by obtaining information through review of open source materials and conducting interviews of former suspect company employees. Mr. Houghton held a Top Secret, Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) Security Clearance.

Mr. Houghton served as a Special Agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) from 1984 through 1998, both in Norfolk, VA and Boston, MA. From 1998 through 2016 he was a Special Agent with Department of Defense Office (DOD) of the Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) in Boston, MA. During this time Mr. Houghton conducted investigations involving DOD programs including healthcare, aerospace contractors, money laundering, public corruption, and the False Claims Act (QUI TAM). Many of these concerned Special Access Programs (SAP) and TS/SCI programs. The results of Mr. Houghton’s efforts on these investigations lead to criminal convictions, multi-million-dollar civil settlements, and asset forfeiture.

Education
  • Stonehill College (BA History, 1981)
  • Stonehill College (BS, Accounting, 1987)
Experience
  • As an NCIS agent, investigated the activities of Systems Management American Corporation, Norfolk, VA involving a large U.S. Navy program. The investigation uncovered conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government, public corruption, and obstruction of justice. The investigation resulted multiple criminal convictions including Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO). For his efforts on this investigation Mr. Houghton received a Department of Justice (DOJ) Award for Public Service.
  • As a DCIS agent, conducted the investigation that prevented the theft of $1.6 million in gold from Stern Leach, Inc., Attleboro, MA. Individuals posed as DOD employees and attempted to steal the gold claiming it was to be used on a government program.
  • At DCIS, uncovered a scheme by a brother and sister; Allen Thrower and Marie Cimino; to obtain millions is sole source U.S. Army contracts. The scheme involved money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the government. The investigation resulted in criminal convictions, and asset forfeiture. Mr. Houghton received a DOJ Award for Public Service for his efforts on this investigation.
Affiliations
  • Certified Fraud Examiner, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
  • Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association