UPDATE: See update below regarding sentencing timing. It's been quite awhile since we've been on the […]
Ex-NMFA Controller Admits That He Was ‘Probably Negligent’ to Submit a Fake Audit Report But It’s Okay Because a Real Audit Will Confirm That Everything Is A-okay
The New Mexico Finance Authority ("NMFA") has a bit of a mess on its hands. […]
A blind item from the front: It has come to my attention that a manager […]
Look, you guys. I know the stress of busy season can be a lot to […]
As many of you are already aware, any sort of criminal record can negatively impact your career options if you’re considering public accounting. For one Going Concern reader, his sketchy past could mean the difference between becoming a CPA and spending his life as a payroll clerk.
Here’s the question:
Suppose I am an educated, convicted felon (possession of marijuana w/ intent to distribute when I was 19, currently 22) who is taking the CPA exam in the fall after graduation from college. I expect to pass (I’ve studied long and hard) and I have a few questions for you. Do you think accounting firms would be open to hiring a convicted felon, despite qualifications and a non-fiduciary felony? Also, would a state board (NH specifically) certify me as a CPA, provided I was able to get a job and fulfill the experience requirements? Do you have any precedents or similar situations you could inform me of?
Well, let’s start with the New Hampshire application for licensure, which contains the following simple question:
Have you ever been convicted of a felony that has not been annulled or committed any dishonest act?
If yes, please attach a separate sheet, which contains a complete description of the circumstances.
What this says to me is that you should start working on what you’re going to put on that separate sheet. You won’t get points for oversharing but you may get credit for honesty and clarity.
As you pointed out, it’s worth noting a few things. First, you were 19. We all do stupid things when we are 19. Granted, your stupid things got you a felony when it gets most 19 year olds regretful tattoos or embarrassing stories but still, you were a kid. That said, you’re still a kid to some employers/authority figures, so don’t get your hopes up expecting people to automatically assume you’ve reformed yourself in 3 years.
Second, it’s not like you robbed a gas station, stole credit card numbers or ripped off your Boy Scout troop – the fact that you were once in possession of a large quantity of marijuana isn’t much of a reflection on your character as it pertains to your ability to stick to the professional code. But (and this is the part that sucks), marijuana is still illegal and therefore the Board of Accountancy will consider that fact independent of what you were actually charged for. To some, the fact that you committed any crime at all means you are not of the ethical fortitude required to be a CPA. Let’s ignore the fact that many of the people who feel this way break the law all the time; talking on their cell phones behind the wheel, speeding, and driving while mildly intoxicated after happy hour.
The general rule here is that you should be fine as long as your conviction isn’t a fiduciary one but it’s up to the state to decide. Whatever you do, don’t try to hide it, as the important thing here is proving you are trustworthy. And you may want to talk to a lawyer about having your conviction expunged or knocked down to a misdemeanor. It probably doesn’t change much for you as far as jobs go (hope you aren’t planning on going Big 4, they won’t touch you with a conviction like that) but hey, you’ll be able to carry a gun (you know, for those dangerous engagements).
Yesterday we shared with you the unfortunate tale of Walgreen CFO Wade Miquelon picking up his second DUI in just over a year. While Mr. Miquelon is obviously responsible for his own actions, this whole mess could have been avoided if WAG would just splurge a tad and get him 24/7 car service. Sure you might catch some shit from Footnoted but isn’t that better than people getting hurt?
Anyhoo, most of the coverage on this story is in and around Chicago but naturally, analysts that cover the company were asked about the whole ordeal and frankly, since jumping behind the wheel after a few highballs doesn’t seem to have any effect on Wade’s professional capacity, it’s really NBD:
Dereck Leckow with Barrington Research […] sees no reason for investors to be concerned.
“Certainly, it’s rather embarrassing, but he’s not been found guilty of anything at this point,” said Leckow.
“At this point in time, it’s not something to be concerned about,” he concluded. Leckow has an “Outperform” rating on Walgreen shares and a $46 price target.
The risk for investors, if anything serious were to result from the latest charge, is that Miquelon is regarded as key to restructuring that’s been going on at Walgreen.
“Wade has been very valuable for the company’s cost-reduction efforts,” observes Scott Mushkin of Jefferies & Co. “If there were any problem that would take him away from his responsibilities at Walgreen, that would be a negative,” said Mushkin.
As we noted yesterday, WAG isn’t commenting on this “personal matter” but some people are wondering aloud about Wade’s decision-making ability:
Companies have to disclose “events that occurred during the past 10 years and that are material to an evaluation of the ability or integrity” of an officer. This includes whether the person “was convicted in a criminal proceeding … (excluding traffic violations and other minor offenses),” according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
So the question becomes when does such an issue stops being a “personal matter” and starts becoming a “material” one. And what does it say about a person who makes such repeated mistakes, risking himself and others in the process? Can shareholders trust him with running the finances of their company?
The answer is, it depends.
“Some companies might have disclosed the second arrest right away; some might have said something somewhere,” said Edward Best, a partner at law firm Mayer Brown. “Other companies could reasonably have concluded, ‘Hey, the guy still showed up Monday morning.’ He’s still able to fly to New York to meet with rating agencies, investors and bankers. It’s not a material issue.”
One thing is for certain – Miquelon is losing his license for three years effective November 10th, so Walgreen has a couple of weeks to arrange for that car service.
Walgreen: Street Unperturbed By CFO DUI Arrest [Barron’s]
Walgreen CFO Arrested on Drunk Driving Charges … Again [Daily Finance]
Walgreens CFO charged for 2nd time with DUI [Chicago Breaking Business]
At this rate, Wade Miquelon is going to be at Billy Joel territory in no time:
Walgreen Co. Chief Financial Officer Wade Miquelon was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving last month, his second such arrest in a little more than a year, according to Kenilworth and Glencoe police.
Miquelon stonewalled officers when they requested a breathalyzer test which goes over well approximately 100% of the time. As for the past incident:
In Sept. 2009, he was stopped at 12:51 a.m. at Green Bay Road and Glencoe Drive and charged with speeding, improper lane usage, DUI and having alcohol in his system. In May, he accepted a one-year supervision for the latter offense, according to a Cook County District Court clerk.
“We’re aware of it,” said Walgreen’s spokesman Michael Polzin. “It’s a personal matter, and we don’t comment on personal matters.”
Are they also be aware that it’s relatively inexpensive to hire a full-time driver for a senior executive when you have profits of $2 billion? Just so, you know, no one gets killed.
Walgreens CFO charged for 2nd time with DUI [Chicago Breaking Business]
Last summer, you may remember hearing about an accountant in Florida who was fired from his job as Town Manager of Fort Myers Beach because his wife was a porn star.
At the time we wondered how an injustice of this magnitude could occur in this great land of ours. If an accountant can’t marry a porn star and be a public servant, is this really the country we want to live in?
Despite that setback for FREEDOM, Scott Janke – the accountant and husband of porn star in question – is trying to become the City Manager of Flager Beach, FL and he has supporters stating that he’s the best man for the job, so on and so forth.
However, Janke’s supporters aren’t concerned that the porn star wife (which they say wasn’t an issue to being with) and Hustler pinup – Anabela Mota Janke, aka Jazella Moore (most definitely NSFW) – will not be a problem this go round because Janke and Jazella are separated.
“I think that he’d be a really good city manager,” Flagler Beach Commissioner Jane Mealy said. She said Janke’s wife’s profession wouldn’t factor into her decision.
“As far as I’m concerned, it has no impact,” Mealy said.
Mealy predicted that “by next week, people will have forgotten” about any controversy surrounding Janke.
Maybe that’s because Janke said Tuesday that he and his wife are separated.
Now you could debate the pros and cons of dating a porn star until Jenna Jameson comes home but in this particular case, Janke really sounds like he wants to be a City Manager/Planner. Janke must have figured that he didn’t have to settle for a woman with D-level acting skills and a D-cup rack when he could have a whole city on its knees.
Back in fall we mentioned a run-of-the-mill whore-supporting accountant that pleaded guilty to ripping off Toys R Us to the tune £3.7 million. Paul Hopes is described as a ‘Walter Mitty character’ by the Telegraph who can now fantasize about what Oz character he is, now that he’s spending 7 years in prison.
Hopes got more bad news recently as he learned that he has to repay £3.36 million of the £3.68 million from Geoffrey.
If he fails to repay the money, he see his sentence more than doubled with an extra 10 years in prison.
The court heard that Hopes, an “accounts payable manager” at the retailer, diverted regular instalments of £300,000 to an account of a fictitious toy manufacturer which he controlled.
He named the fund Dunbar Associates after a prostitute with whom he had become besotted and to whom he eventually handed a total of more than £1.5 million pounds.
He spent at least £2.4 million of the money he stole on five female escorts in all.
That’s a bitch about the additional 10 years if doesn’t repay. But we’re sure that he placed the remaining £900k into a safe, no-load mutual fund so he’ll be able to at start paying at least part of it back ASAP. The sensible accountant in him had to have made one decision with stolen money.
As for the rest of it, we don’t know how successful Johns are at getting refunds in circumstances such as these but if those girls were 100% satisfaction guaranteed, he’ll have to explore other options.
Many of you probably consider yourself to be ambitious. You have aspirations of riches and success in the field of accounting that the likes of Arthur Andersen dared not dream of. You’re a game changer. The profession won’t be the same after you’re done with it.
But Yasith Chhun of Long Beach, CA could not be satisfied with simple pleasures like titles such as Partner or CFO and fabulous wealth simply would not be enough. His life goals were far more lofty than a simple title, salary or home with a three-car garage on a golf course. This was about a revolution!
A California accountant was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday in Los Angeles for orchestrating a failed attempt to overthrow the Cambodian government in 2000.
Yasith Chhun, of Long Beach, was found guilty in 2008 of three counts of conspiracy and one count of engaging in a military expedition against a nation with which the United States is at peace.
Chhun is a U.S. citizen of Cambodian descent who helped lead a handful of rebel fighters in an attack of government buildings in the country’s capital of Phnom Penh. Three of the fighters were killed, and several police and military officers were injured.
Prosecutors said Chhun planned the coup over two years, traveled to the region to assemble a rebel force and held fundraisers for the operation.
So unless you’re willing to engage in guerrilla tactics in order to topple an entire nation that’s friendly with the U.S., we don’t ever want to hear about your career path.
When an airport is closed due to inclement weather, most people just shrug and realize that there’s nothing they can do about it. Oh sure, there might be a few lunatics who will yell at the ticket agent because they’ve somehow concluded that they have the ability to ring up the Almighty and put in a rush order of clearing skies but most people have the self control to internalize this.
In the case of Paul Chambers, an accountant in the UK, it wasn’t so much a ticket agent but his Twitter followers who heard his frustration. Chamber was understandably concerned that he wasn’t going to get laid due to Robin Hood Airport being closed this past January after a snowstorm. Chambers claimed that he Tweeted the following…
“C—! Robin Hood Airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your sh– together, otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!”
…out of frustration because he was scheduled to fly to Belfast to meet Crazy Colours, whom he had met on Twitter. Prior to the C U Next Tuesday message, he had Tweeted to Crazy Colours, “I was thinking that if it does I’ve decided that I’m going to resort to terrorism,” presumably referring to another snowstorm that could potentially delay is upcoming travels.
Anyhoo, the Tweet was discovered by a Robin Hood Airport employee who was compelled to report the threat to authorities. Naturally this led to seven hours of questioning, the loss of his job, and a ban from the airport for life (later rescinded).
The judge ruled that the Tweet was ”of a menacing nature in the context of the times in which we live.” Chambers was fined approximately $1,500 and naturally, took to the Twittersphere with his thoughts on the matter:
In blatant-misuse-of-the-corporate-credit-card news, a former Deloitte “trainee/student” (let’s assume an intern, shall we?) has admitted to racking up over £8,800 in gambling debt on his Deloitte issued credit card.
Umar Qureshi, using his Deloitte laptop no less, managed to lose the money in just a couple of months, October and November of 2008. At that point, Qureshi, rather than admit to being a horrendous gambler, lied about the charges, telling Deloitte that they were fraudulent. Depending on when this particular lie took place, he only managed to keep a straight face, at the most, for two months, as Deloitte terminated his contract in January of ’09.
Which is understandable. Gambling can be nerve-racking on its own but losing your ass on the Corporate Card has got to be a real pant-crapper. This makes for the second Big 4 degenerate loser to make headlines this year in the UK. Back in February, a ex-KPMGer really was rolling, slamming over £25,000 on his expense report.
Accountancy Age reports that the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (“ICAEW”), “ordered that the defendant cease to be a provisional member and be ineligible for re-registration for six months, and that he be severely reprimanded.” As we mentioned in the KPMG case, we’re not sure what a “reprimand” entails but a weeklong diversity training with Barry Salzberg could be a possibility.
Luckily, for Qureshi a relative was kind enough to pay the debt owed to Deloitte, who must have really wanted the money back. It’s just principle.
Former Deloitte student admits £8k bill from online gambling [Accountancy Age]