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About Us

Our History



Established in 1972 as the predecessor firm of Krieger Accountancy, the founding partner, Bert Krieger, began the accounting firm in a small office space shared with a realty concern in Coachella. In 1977, he moved the firm to its current location on El Paseo in Palm Desert. Partners David Abel and Robert Wilmeth joined the firm in 1980 and 1987, respectively.  Partners Erik LaCagnina and Rachael Rustigian-Yzaguirre joined the firm in 2006 and 2007, respectively.


Mission Statement

Abel, Krieger and Wilmeth, CPAs is committed to:

  1. Providing a complete range of  tax and accounting services on a timely basis.
  2. Providing services that are noticeably superior in quality at a fair price.
  3. Accepting only those engagements that fall within the firm's expertise and experience.
  4. Developing a relationship with our clients so they will come to know us as their most trusted advisor.
  5. Keeping up with the changes in tax laws and technology, enabling us to offer our clients the best solutions for their circumstances.


Our Team

David L. Abel, CPA, MBA, Partner

David L. Abel joined the firm in 1980, leaving a position as CEO and Controller for a nationally recognized sales incentive company stationed in Palm Springs shortly after missing his first born's first steps and words. Both college degrees were earned in Oxford (Mississippi, not England), better known as Ole Miss. Mr. Abel expanded his tax practice to include estates and trusts with the State of California CPA Foundation's "Estate Planning Certificate" in 1998. Also in that year, he added financial advisory services to his practice, receiving licenses as a life agent/variable contracts, and through the NASD, Series 6 and 63. Mr. Abel is a private trustee for many of his clients, as well as for charitable trusts that he assisted in forming. Professional memberships include the California Society of CPAs, Desert Estate Planners, and the Society of California Accountants, where he is a former president. Community services include board member of the College of the Desert Foundation, past board member of the Eisenhower Medical Center Foundation and advisory to Cal State University Accounting Department students. Active in his church and boy scouting, he has served various callings from nursery leader to bishopric member.

Robert D. Wilmeth Jr., CPA, Partner

Robert D. Wilmeth Jr., CPA, joined the firm in 1987 after a two-year stint with the international accounting firm of Peat, Marwick, Mitchell (known now as KPMG). He earned his degree in Business/Economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he graduated with high honors. Mr. Wilmeth provides tax preparation, estate and trust planning, business consulting, accounting and related services to clients which include individuals, trusts, corporations, partnerships and LLCs. Mr. Wilmeth also serves as a professional executor/trustee for many of his clients . Mr. Wilmeth's professional memberships include the California Society of CPAs and the Society of California Accountants, where he is past president of the Desert Chapter. Mr. Wilmeth is also active in his community where he serves on the leadership board in his church and has contributed his time to various organizations, including the YMCA of the Desert, the Historical Society of Palm Desert, the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission and the Palm Springs Community Concert Association. In his free time he enjoys skiing, water sports, cycling and serving as a "Sherpa" for his Ironman triathlete wife!

Erik La Cagnina, CPA, Partner

Erik La Cagnina joined the firm in December 2006 and specializes in Corporate and Partnership tax compliance. He received his B.S. degree in Business Management (Specializing in Accounting) from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. After relocating across the country he obtained his CPA license in California. In his down time Erik enjoys staying active a variety of ways including running, tennis, disc golf, and swimming. He also enjoys travelling to attend live music performances.

Rachael Rustigian-Yzaguirre, CPA, Partner

Rachael, a licensed CPA in California, joined the firm in January 2007 and specializes in Individual, Trust and Estate taxation. Originally from Los Angeles, she went to Arizona for college and earned her B.S. degree in Accounting from the University of Phoenix in Tucson, AZ. After spending several years there she moved back to California to be closer to family. Rachael and her husband, Eric, live in La Quinta and enjoy traveling in the summer time.

Shayla Towner, Office Administrator

Shay joined the firm in early 2021 as our Office Manager. Shay attended CSUSB where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. As a native to the Coachella Valley, she has several years of experience working at other CPA firms. Shay’s responsibilities include accounts receivable, bookkeeping, maintaining office organization and various office management tasks. In Shay’s free time she enjoys spending time with her daughter, shopping, and cooking.