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Accounting News Roundup: Forgetting a Career Limiting Move and Long Cons | 08.23.17

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Forgetting a career limiting move

If you get in trouble with the Securities and Exchange Commission and they suspend you for, say, five years — do you forget about it? I mean, five years is a decent stretch, so things change, you move on with your life, you find some new work. So would you remember the five-year suspension? I don’t know. I kinda think you would.

The SEC, on the other hand, definitely remembers. This litigation release tells the story of an accountant who practiced before the Commission without applying for reinstatement:

Michael J. Hooper of Spokane, Washington repeatedly violated an SEC order entered against him in 1999 suspending him under SEC Rule of Practice 102(e) from appearing or practicing before the Commission as an accountant, with the right to apply for reinstatement after five years. The Commission entered the 1999 order against Hooper after a federal court permanently enjoined him from violating certain antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws in an action in which Hooper was alleged to have made materially false and misleading statements and omissions in violation of those laws.

The recent court order found that although Hooper never applied for reinstatement, he helped publicly traded companies between 2006 and 2013 prepare financial statements and disclosure forms that were subsequently filed with the SEC.

Right, the SEC is not going to forget. So even if we give everyone the benefit of the doubt, you probably shouldn’t either.

Accountants behaving badly

Although this section of ANR has mounted a considerable body of anecdotal evidence, a Hiscox study found that “Middle-aged employees in the accounting or finance area were the most likely to […] steal from any company.”

The Hiscox study also found that “long cons” that stretch out for years  The most successful of these, was a scam of (half) a lifetime:

The longest-running theft Hiscox found stretched for nearly four decades. An Iowa credit union employee diverted $2.5 million from customer deposits into her own account, and that of her children, from 1978 until 2015. The credit union, which Hiscox didn’t name, eventually had to liquidate.

Imagine embezzling money for 37 years. “How was work today, dear?” “Oh, you know, the usual. Helped some customers, got another $185 bonus.”

Still, with such a relatively small sum, Robert DeNiro won’t be starring in your biopic.

Previously, on Going Concern…

Part II of Accounting for Stuff With Tim Gearty. He bestowed more wisdom on the new revenue recognition rules.

Also, something new — Going Concern Studios is our in-house creative team that creates native content for our employers and advertisers. (Full disclosure: That means they paid us for it). Their first effort is for Assurance Dimensions, a Florida-based audit-only firm that doesn’t use timesheets and “compensates you for what you actually do, not how long it takes you to do it.”

In other news:

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Image: iStock/Lenushka2012