Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
December 1, 2022

Accounting News Roundup: Accountant Scapegoats and 20-Year Scams | 05.09.17

accounting-news-gas-stations

(Re)-Trials

The re-trial of two Dewey & LeBoeuf executives ended yesterday and the jury declared that the Accountant did it, in the Board Room, with the Spreadsheet:

A jury in Manhattan convicted Joel Sanders, the law firm’s former chief financial officer, on three criminal counts arising from what prosecutors said was a scheme to hide the firm’s failing finances from financial backers.

But another former executive on trial, Stephen DiCarmine, was acquitted of the same charges.

“Joel is innocent,” said DiCarmine which isn’t much consolation at this point.

When it comes to white collar crime, more times than not, an accountant will be left holding the bag. It’s just the nature of these things; the guy or gal in charge of the numbers makes for a convenient scapegoat. There isn’t enough money (as in this case) or money goes missing (in lots of other cases) and that’s usually some accountant’s fault.

Accountants behaving badly

If you were embezzling from your employer, how long do you think you could keep it going before you broke out in hives and had to stop? One week? One month? I imagine most people would see that first illicit deposit in their account and they’d panic and secretly put the money back.

Not this guy:

A St. Paul accountant was sentenced to more than three years in prison Friday for a million dollar embezzlement scheme to which he pleaded guilty.

According to his plea and court documents, over a 20 year period beginning in 1995, 65-year-old John Rowan stole more than $1.2 million from his employer by issuing 150 unauthorized checks to himself. Rowan was the company’s accountant and controller.

Twenty years! That’s not some aberration, that’s a successful career! I wonder if he ever got bored or dissatisfied with the stealing? Maybe the stealing was what kept him going? That probably would spice things up nicely, but oh boy, don’t take that as career advice. Most of you aren’t cut out for that much deception.

Previously, on Going Concern…

Marsha Leest wrote about assessing your busy season. In Open Items, someone asked about Big 4 international rotations.

In other news:

Get the Accounting News Roundup in your inbox every weekday by signing up here.

 

Latest Accounting Jobs--Apply Now:

Have something to add to this story? Give us a shout by email, Twitter, or text/call the tipline at 202-505-8885. As always, all tips are anonymous.

Related articles

a dog wearing VR

Monday Morning Accounting News Brief: Deloitte on Microtransactions; More EY Split Roadblocks; Have You Become Irritable? | 11.28.22

Happy Monday! Here’s some stuff that’s going on. Several US audit firms told the Financial Times that they had elevated some or all of their crypto-related clients to the status of “high risk”, triggering a more thorough audit that will take longer and lead to higher bills; some clients could ultimately be dropped altogether. KPMG […]

woman working on a laptop with a dog beside her

Monday Morning Accounting News Brief: The Leadership Void; KPMG Gets Fined (Again); PwC Ups Leave | 10.3.22

Deloitte launches Global Sustainability & Climate learning program that aims to enhance skills and capabilities of Deloitte people to help address a global societal challenge. Dubai’s financial regulator has provisionally fined KPMG and one of its former partners $2 million over the firm’s auditing of Abraaj, the emerging markets private equity group that collapsed in […]