Carillion Liquidators Roast KPMG: “A Competent Auditor Would Have Detected the Misstatements”
The Carillion failure is still working its way through the courts and now KPMG is accused by Carillion’s liquidators of missing multiple red flags, the likes of which should not have been missed had KPMG had any clue what it is doing. So say the liquidators. WSJ: KPMG received £29 million from Carillion without qualifying […]
A Bunch of Auditors at RSM F*cked Up
Today in Auditors Not Doing Their Jobs, the SEC has charged RSM, three senior-level employees who work there, and a couple partners with improper professional conduct for failing to properly audit Revolution Lighting Technologies Inc.’s financial statements over a four-year period when Revolution was violating accounting principles by inflating revenue with bill and hold sales. […]
KPMG Employees Seeking Help with Audit Software Might End Up With Phone Sex Instead
One of the best things about working at a Big 4 firm is that for virtually every problem you encounter, you can dial up an internal hotline and get some help. Computer acting up? There’s a hotline. Forget the basic accounting equation? There’s a hotline. Partners passing along illegal information about PCAOB inspection plans? Um, […]
Hopefully a PwC Employee Doesn’t Get in Trouble for Leaving Their Work Lying Around
Here's a doozy. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that PPG Industries may sell its flat glass business to Mexico-based Vitro, SAB de C.V. This according to "a document obtained by" the paper: A PPG spokesman this afternoon declined to comment on a possible sale, which is mentioned in an undated reference contained in a draft copy […]
BDO Spain Took a Siesta on Some PCAOB Paperwork
Audit firms still seem to be getting used to having a regulator that watches their every move. Or failure to move in the case of BDO Auditores, SLP (aka "BDO Spain"). [T]he Firm became a respondent in two separate disciplinary proceedings initiated by the Instituto de Contabilidad y Auditoria de Cuentas ("ICAC"), the foreign auditor […]
Please Don’t Be Like This Accountant Who Got Scammed Over Email
Here's an unfortunate situation that hopefully none of you ever have to go through: The accountant for a U.S. company recently received an e-mail from her chief executive, who was on vacation out of the country, requesting a transfer of funds on a time-sensitive acquisition that required completion by the end of the day. The […]
IRS Was Just Kidding When It Said Cyber Criminals Tried to Access Tax Return Information for 225,000 Households
It was quite a few more than that, actually: The IRS reported in May that cyber crooks used stolen Social Security numbers and other data acquired elsewhere to try to gain unauthorized access to prior-year tax return information for about 225,000 U.S. households. That included about 114,000 successful attempts and 111,000 unsuccessful ones. On Monday, […]
Let’s Play Spot the Spelling Error at Meet the Firms with Grant Thornton
This suspect was spotted at University of South Carolina: Wonder if GT is in the market for a proofreader?
The CPA Exam is Broken Into Parts But These Sentences Not So Much
Get it together, This Way to CPA! I'm trying to think of a waythis may have beenintentional but… nah.
Deloitte Fined $2M for Allowing Suspended Audit Partner to Keep on Auditing
Accounting giant Deloitte & Touche will pay a $2 million penalty to settle civil charges that it allowed a suspended auditor to continue working in the firm's public company audit practice, the U.S. audit watchdog said Tuesday. The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the body that polices auditors, said the fine matches a record penalty imposed […]
Grant Thornton Audit Partners Might Want to Read Those Opinions Just a Bit Closer
Call this is a GT service announcement (or something). A tipster informed us a little while ago that there were a couple of Purple Rose of Chicago audit opinions floating around that have an unfortunate typo. Titan International and Gentherm, Inc. filed 10-Ks in 2013 with Grant Thornton's name spelled wrong on the opinion – spelling it […]
The EY Rebranding Has Gotten More Exposure Than It Bargained For (Slightly NSFW)
It's been an exciting week at EY, what with the rebranding, tagline, Vision 2020 a new CEO and all. It marks the culmination of a lot of hard work on the part of marketing, communications, leadership, web designers, programmers, and countless other professionals to get to this moment. And it appears that at no point […]
Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne Had No Idea That There Was a Gun in His Luggage When He Went to the Salt Lake City Airport
It's been quite a while since we've checked in with Arkham Asylum escapee Patrick Byrne. For better or worse, OSTK has managed to keep their financial reporting relatively respectable and thus his smiling mug has not graced these pages. Today we pick up the beat again and it's more or less in line with what you […]
The PCAOB Has Conveniently Released 2011 Inspection Reports For Deloitte, Grant Thornton and Ernst & Young the Friday Before Christmas
Oh I bet you guys think you're slick for this one! Thanks so much for ruining my Doomsday. So here's what we've got. Let's start with Deloitte: The PCAOB identified a few particular deficiencies it didn't like: The inspection team considered certain of the deficiencies that it observed to be audit failures. Specifically, certain of […]
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. You see, a week or so back, the State Auditor discovered that the audit report – that was submitted six months late – was fake. Bogus. A sham. The NMFA management and board investigated and determined that the authority’s former […]
McGladrey Takes a Unique – If Annoying – Approach to Recruiting Talent
Considering interviewing with McGladrey? You might want to reconsider, lest your email inbox get blown up 2 years later. Or just hit the unsubscribe button the first time they follow up with you. Consider yourselves forewarned. From the tip box: Hello, I'd like to share with you the continued failure that McGladrey thrive to be. […]
PwC Unable to Protect Under Armour’s House
So to speak. You see, someone at Papa Whiskey Charlie dropped a flash drive that contained a lot of pertinent Under Armour employees' information in the mail and yep! it's missing. Baltimore-based Under Armour Inc. told employees in an email message that an unencrypted thumb drive containing employee payroll information was lost in the U.S. mail […]
Groupon Got Some of Their Numbers Wrong
The Wall St. Journal reports: Groupon Inc. GRPN +3.84% said it was revising lower the financial results it reported for its fourth quarter, after discovering the company had to set aside more money for customer refunds. The online-coupon site, which went public in November, said its auditor, Ernst & Young, discovered a "material weakness in its […]
Deloitte Netherlands CEO Is Resigning After Stupidly Violating Independence Rules
Not exactly the best way to start a new job: Deloitte said the chief executive of its Dutch arm had stepped down with immediate effect after breaking internal rules on owning stakes in companies whose books are audited by the accountancy firm. Deloitte Netherlands CEO Piet Hein Meeter, who took up the job on Jan. 1, […]
Yes, Ernst & Young Lost a Flash Drive with a Lot of Important Client Information on It But Nothing Bad Has Happened Yet, Okay?
Auditors are gatekeepers. Or something. They are trusted to keep client confidentiality on many matters and are entrusted with very sensitive information on a daily basis. They are paid handsomely for this so you can imagine the frustration a client must feel when something like this happens: Personal information about Regions Financial Corp. current and former […]
Ex-BDO Partner Didn’t Realize You Were Asking About *That* $49,350
Bryan N. Polozola simply misremembered that he took that exact amount of money from a old employer. Problem is, he misremembered with the SEC: Polozola was the subject of a 2005 NASD (now FINRA) proceeding alleging that he took $49,350 in funds from a former employer for his personal use. Polozola neither admitted nor denied […]
Oregon Accountant Indicted for Fatal Hit-and-Run
In aren’t-you-glad-this-isn’t-you news, an Oregon accounting director has been indicted on one count of criminally negligent homicide and one count of failure to perform the duties of a driver when a person is killed.
On January 26, Les Schwab Tire Center Director of Accounting Bret Lee Biedscheid, 38, allegedly hit Anthony Martin, 48, around 11 pm while Martin was crossing the street on his bicycle. The grand jury made their determination based on witness testimony and videotape evidence.
Two days after the incident, Biedscheid’s lawyer contacted police and surrendered the 2008 GMC pickup matching the description of the truck involved in the crash.
Bend, Oregon police later served search warrants on Biedscheid’s house and seized computers, cell phones, GPS devices and other items. “I feel like if it had been myself or anyone else, we would have already been arrested just on the evidence that they already had,” said the victim’s sister.
Biedscheid has not been arrested and is scheduled to be arranged Thursday morning.
Slow down out there when you’re heading home from ANO, kids.
Ohio Mistakenly Notified a Woman That She Was Due a $200 Million Tax Refund
Ohio, like many states, is in a bit of a budget pickle and perhaps this level of vigilance is part of the reason.
Denise Bossetti received a notice in the mail that indicated she was due $200 million but was skeptical (even with the letterhead).
Apparently 9,700 Ohioans received notices of inflated refunds and the Ohio Department of Taxation claims this is a new one and that “The problem has been fixed.” Probably a good idea.
Woman gets $200 million tax-return notice — but it was mistake [Sandusky Register via AT]
Grad Assistants May Starve After University of Illinois ‘Payroll Glitch’ Results in Back Taxes Owed
The irony being that UI is consistently one of the top accounting programs in the country. The Champaign News-Gazette has the scoop:
The University of Illinois failed to withhold taxes for hundreds of graduate assistants over seven years, resulting in thousands of dollars in back taxes owed to the Internal Revenue Service. The payroll “glitch” also means some graduate assistants will go without pay for the next few months to cover taxes owed on their tuition and service fee waivers. About 280 graduate assistants will be taxed for part of their 2011 tuition waivers starting this month, and 17 who owe more than their next few paychecks will get no pay for three months, officials said.
Seven years. Hopefully some of the grad assistants have some money saved but it sounds like more than a few of them will be having a helluva time with this. The Graduate Employees’ Organization director of communication, Natalie Uhl gets serious:
“For some of them, they have absolutely no way to pay rent next month, no way to buy food,” she said. Some students are planning to drop out of school, Uhl said. “They’ll essentially be paying to work for the school,” she said. “They’ll be receiving no money for the work that they do.”
Jesus. That’s worse than working for minimum wage at an accounting firm! The University, for their whole role in this, is saying “my bad” but rationalizes the lack of paying the GAs by keeping things no nonsense. This is the IRS we’re talking about, after all. They’ve got guns!
“We feel bad about the inconvenience. We understand that the additional withholding may create a hardship, and it’s unfortunate. We’re required by the law to take the withholding,” [UI spokesman Thomas Hardy] said.
UI didn’t withhold taxes for hundreds of grad assistants [CNG]
WFT’s Material Weaknesses Led to Giant Tax WTF
It’s bad enough that 3% of Weatherford International’s revenues come from Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and Bahrain but the company also revealed in a their NT 10-K filed yesterday that they aren’t so good at staying top of their taxes:
The Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K (the “Form 10-K”) for the year ended December 31, 2010 cannot be filed within the prescribed time period because the Company has identified a material weakness in internal controls over financial reporting for income taxes and requires additional time to perform additional testing on, and reconciliation, of the tax accounts to be included in the annual financial statements to be presented in the Form 10-K. The Company expects to file the Form 10-K on or before the 15th calendar day following the prescribed due date.
FuelFix has the gory details:
Oil field services firm Weatherford International goes by the stock ticker is WFT, but analyst reaction to the company reporting more than $500 million in tax errors is more likely drawing the reaction of “WTF?” from investors.
The company said it will have to restate its earnings going back to 2007 due to “material weaknesses” in its internal controls, namely:
1. inadequate staffing and technical expertise within the company related to taxes,
2. ineffective review and approval practices relating to taxes,
3. inadequate processes to effectively reconcile income tax accounts and
4. inadequate controls over the preparation of quarterly tax provisions.
So in other words, Weatherford has no tax experts in their accounting department, no one to supervise or review the work of those experts and no checks or balances over the tax provision process as a whole. Was the Ernst & Young audit team aware of this? Last year’s 10-K had a clean opinion, in case you were wondering. Oh, and Weatherford moved its HQ to Switzerland back in ’08. So there’s that.
Ohio County Auditor Discovers an Ongoing 30-Year Tax Mistake
After a massive flood in the Ohio county of Butler March 25, 1913, the Miami County Conservatory was formed to preserve the quality of Great Miami River water. This mission, hammered out in 1914, allowed for a tax against Butler County residents but apparently when this tax was raised in 1976, it didn’t actually go in front of Butler County votes like it was supposed to.
Which means $4 million in taxes has been collected since then ($252,793.74 in 2009) and somehow no one noticed until now.
Via the Oxford Press (OH):
Following an internal review and opinion from the Ohio Department of Tax Equalization, Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds is removing the tax from the 2010 bill.
“I am proud of my office for this discovery, and for instituting our plan for stronger internal controls on behalf of the citizens of Butler County,” Reynolds said in a press release. “Our role as government leaders must be to protect taxpayers’ money, and to safeguard against waste and error.”
The tax is allowable according to Ohio law. A 1914 statute states taxes for a conservancy district can be collected up to 10 mills, but anything greater must have voter approval.
The funny part is that according to Miami Conservatory District PR, the county is only obligated to pay $207,982 a year to the conservatory. So they really over-collected.
This county auditor is the same who caught another tax boo-boo in early 2010 in which a $1.46 assessment was wrongly collected from every parcel of land in the county for a grand total of $2.3 million.
And you guys wonder why tax protesters do what they do.
A Walmart Sticker Leads to California Lawsuit Against Overstock.com
~ UPDATE includes link and quote from Overstock.com’s press release responding to the suit.
Gary Weiss is all over the $15 million lawsuit brought by seven California counties against Overstock.com today, noting that this could be a helluva problem for our fave SLC problem-child:
The counties had offered to settle with Overstock for as little as $7.5 million, but Overstock refused. No wonder: if the company had coughed up such a substantial amount of cash, it probably would have been driven into bankruptcy.
The suit came out of some alleged false comparative advertising claims (e.g. think Crazy Eddie commercials) including this one that got investigators on the case:
It was a Cottonwood man’s complaints about the firm that persuaded prosecutors to investigate the matter, said Erin Dervin, a Shasta County deputy district attorney.
In 2007, Mark Ecenbarger bought a patio set for $449 on Overstock. The website claimed the list price other companies were charging for the set was $999.99.
But when the furniture was delivered, there was a Walmart sticker on the side of the box showing the set was really worth $247.
Naturally, Overstock is saying that this one big misunderstanding and that isn’t how they do business. The prosecutors aren’t convinced:
The suit claims Overstock often outright makes up its list prices and compare-at prices based on arbitrary markups over the firm’s cost for the product. In many cases, Overstock entirely fabricated a fictitious comparison price and then claimed it was discounting that price, even when it was the only seller of the product, prosecutors allege.
You would think that such a troublesome lawsuit would cause havoc on the company’s stock price, wouldn’t you? Nope. Gary explains:
The reason for that is simple: fraud is already incorporated into the share price. This company is under SEC investigation for systematically cooking its books. Why should consumers be treated any differently than shareholders?
UPDATE: Full statement from Overstock is available although Patrick Byrne is MIA:
“Overstock.com stands by all our advertising practices, including providing comparison values which we thoroughly explain on our site. We have been singled out for standard industry practices, which we look forward to demonstrating in court,” said Jonathan Johnson, President of Overstock.com.
KPMG Pleased That Premature Audit Sign-offs Weren’t on Failed Audits
If you’re the partner on an engagement and you know, deep down in your plums, that the numbers are fine, you probably get pretty anxious to sign off on this bad boy. You want to go on vacation or a golf date with Phil or – if they’re lucky – spend some time with the family. With that in mind, it’s not so unusual that he/she might jump the gun a little and slap down the Johnnie Hancock before all the work gets done.
Unfortunately, as anyone studying for the audit section of the CPA exam will tell you, this is against the rules.
But hey! If the numbers are hunky-dory, there’s not much cause for concern and everyone has a good laugh:
In the case of KPMG, the FRC’s Audit Inspection Unit looked at 15 audits and found that in three cases the auditor’s report had been signed too soon. Significant changes were subsequently made to the accounts in one case.
Paul George, director of auditing at the FRC’s Professional Oversight Board, which includes the AIU, said the early sign-off problem was not limited to KPMG: “It is a profession-wide challenge to some degree.”
KPMG said it accepted the AIU’s comments. “We are pleased to note that in no case did they think that the audit opinion we issued was incorrect,” said Oliver Tant, head of its UK audit arm.
See? It happens everywhere! Plus, it’s not like accounting and auditing are based on rules that anyone takes that seriously, anyway.
Okay, sure signing off early on 20% of the audits sampled sorta looks bad but at least the numbers weren’t wrong. It would be really awkward to explain that.
Survey: Most People Get Away with Sending Inappropriate Emails
Recent data suggests that most of you sending emails regarding the person most likely to sleep their way to partner, the hot piece of ass that isn’t pulling their weight or a recruit from a certain school that asks less-than flattering questions about your firm, are getting way with passing it along to their friends and/or colleagues.
That being said, it does happen. One in twenty to be precise. Speaking from personal experience, sometimes people are reading your emails, especially if something goes viral within a firm and happens to sneak outside the firm. That’s when TPTB get on the horn and demand that people are held responsible.
Hey, nobody’s perfect right? When my particular reprimand came down, all I could do was laugh and say, “Yep, I did send that. Hell, it’s says “From: Caleb Newquist” right there. It was a bad decision on my part and I understand you have to do what you have to do.” And I moved on. Besides, I wasn’t the only one. It was communicated to me that literally hundreds of people were being reprimanded for forwarding the message so it was largely a damage control project and plenty of people were being told, “Don’t do that again. Ever.”
But for the most part, it sounds like most of your “inappropriate messages” fly beneath the radar, including:
Inappropriate jokes, angry messages sent in the heat of the moment, and scathing email replies forwarded to the wrong people are among some of the email gaffes that have landed office workers in hot water with their employers or clients.
One in five of those questioned said they had sent an inappropriate email in the heat of the moment, while almost a third said they had accidentally hit “reply all” instead of “reply”.
More than one in 10 of the 2,000 people surveyed admitted they had mistakenly sent an email criticising a colleague to the person they were insulting.
So while the Telegraph makes a point to note that 1 out of 20 people have been reprimanded for accidentally saying “God, can you believe the partner’s B.O. today?” in the “heat of the moment” it also shows that 19 people are having a great time sending inappropriate emails and not having any problems at all.
However, if you’ve been caught red-handed sending a dirty joke and/or discussing your booze-fueled business trip that may or may not have involved a party back at the hotel room, and were later asked to explain yourself, we’d love to hear about it below. And of course, send us any and all future inappropriate emails that would be 100% appropriate for these pages.
Not that we’re suggesting that you use your work email in an inappropriate manner. You’re representing your firm after all. Have the common sense to use a different email address.
One in 20 people reprimanded for inappropriate emails [Telegraph]
Remember the $3 Million in Overstock Shares Patrick Byrne Sold? Sam Antar Does
Last we heard from Patrick Byrne, the Overstock.com CEO and Farmville enthusiast, he had just disposed of 140,000 shares of OSTK via High Plains Investments, LLC, an entity 100% owned by PB. This had a few people scratching their heads, including us.
At the time, we wondered why Patsy would need to dump the shares, especially after all the excitement the company generated by turning their first profit ever in 2009 and a profitable Q1. We were hoping that the KPMG engagement team – that was doing such a bang-up job – would get some new Segways to cruise SLC but pesky independence rules probably got in the way of that.
Regardless, Q2 wasn’t expected to be a showstopper but when asked, Patsy wasn’t worried, telling Investor’s Business Daily, “Given that in 2009 we had close to $40 million of free cash flow (and $8 million net income), I think we should just continue building the intrinsic value of the business right now.”
Well! The Company reported its Q2 earnings after the close yesterday and, um, they missed the numbers badly. The $0.02/share loss expected by analysts was tripled with a loss of $0.06/share. As you might expect, the shares are taking a beating and Byrne nemesis Sam Antar finds this just a little bit fishy:
[N]ine days after Q2 2010 ended, Byrne led investors to believe that Overstock.com was going to break even in that quarter by citing previous year’s free cash flow numbers. However, Byrne did not mention that Overstock.com’s free cash flow for the six months ended June 30, 2010 was negative $54.8 million compared to negative $35.8 million in the previous year’s comparable perid [sic] or about $19 million lower.
So, there’s that. OH! And the $3 million in shares. Don’t forget that.
Overstock.com CEO Patrick Dumped Stock Ahead of Bad Earnings Report and Misled Investors About Earnings [White Collar Fraud]
Did KPMG Plagiarize Part of Its Atlantic Yards Market Study?
Back in the fall we told you about a market study that KPMG issued on the Atlantic Yards project.
At that time, we learned that KPMG had done some less-than stellar research on the movement of the units on Prospect Park and it got the attention of some the local blogs covering the massive development project.
Namely, the Atlantic Yards Report blog. It reported:
KPMG’s report has some very shoddy research. Consider that the report (dated August 31) claims that Richard Meier’s On Prospect Park is 75% sold. (Only rental buildings are pre-leased.)
However, the New York Times reported September 27:
While the developers say half of the building’s 99 units have been sold, the real estate Web site StreetEasy.com documents only 25 closings through public records.
AYR didn’t state it so boldly back in the fall but in a post from yesterday (as well as reports in May and June) it isn’t so nice and flat out calls the firm out for lying, “The KPMG report got very little discussion, but it contains lies–blatant, checkable lies–about condo sales.”
But wait! There’s more! We learned today from a friend of GC that not only does AYR call out KPMG for having their pants on fire, it also says that the firm got a little carried away with the copy and pasting:
I discovered when I took another look, it contains more than two pages of shameless borrowing–plagiarism that is not diminished by a vague footnote.
The entire section on New York City Market Dynamics is cribbed from The Corcoran Report(s) for Manhattan and Brooklyn for the second quarter of 2009.
Yes, there’s a footnote to the section headline that cites “The Corcoran Report–2nd Quarter 2009” as a source (click to enlarge), but there’s no indication that nearly all the text–with the slightest of changes–comes from Corcoran.
No quotation marks, no indentations, no italics.
AYR provides several examples that are
oddly the same identical. We’ve presented a clip from KPMG’s report here:
And here’s Corcoran’s (apologies for the small type):
Like we said, this is just one example. Our messages (email, voicemail, in a bottle) to KPMG have not been returned at this time.
Rahm Emanuel Was a Little Late Paying His F—ing Property Taxes
And by a little late, we mean three months. Rahm found out the news from WBBM radio in Chicago let him know about it. So a slight embarrassment that was likely met with a response of “well, f*ck me,” “get the f*ck out of here” or simply, “F*ck.”
But the worst thing that Rahm Emanuel will endure for forgetting to pay his property taxes isn’t the questions from the media, it isn’t the $445.56 penalty that he and his wife incurred on the balance of $7,400, it’s that he just gave material to Glenn Beck for the rest of his time as the Chief of Staff.
Since delinquent taxpayers in the Obama Administration has been a favorite target of Beck but since he had his own tax troubles maybe he’ll just let this blow over.
Then again, GB could spin this into the jobs report that came out today which in turn encouraged a nice little drop in the markets which parlays into a Deepwater Horizon connection and pretty soon someone will be calling for someone else’s resignation.
Wednesday Addams’ $180,000 Tax Trouble
Go figure, Christina Ricci has been hit with an IRS lien to the tune of $179,568.30 for unpaid 2008 taxes. Though the lien news seems to have taken her quite by surprise, Ricci’s rep told TMZ that she is taking “immediate action to address it in a responsible manner.”
That’s funny, I thought a responsible manner would have meant paying the IRS $179,568.30 before April 15th, 2009 when it was due but maybe that’s just me.
Oddly enough, if you’ve ever been hit with an IRS lien (hello, Nic Cage) you know that the Service doesn’t just one day decide to slap a lien on you without first attempting to give you a hint that the proverbial shit is preparing to hit the fan. Generally this comes in the form of correspondence (lots of it) indicating that there is an issue.
Helpful bunch that they are, the IRS will almost always work with tax delinquents as long as said delinquents return their letters and get in touch to say “Hey, sorry, totally forgot to give you that $180,000 that I owe you.” In the case of Christina Ricci, we’re pretty sure her IRS letters must have gotten lost in the fan mail and creepy stalker packages. Yeah, that must it.
Report: Accountants Responsible for Two-thirds of Embezzlements
Okay auditors. No more excuses. You should already be giving everyone the stink-eye the second you walk in the door but now we’ve got a REPORT about embezzlement in the US of A that gives you all kinds of hints on who you should suspect — provable or not — of being the next Sue Sachdeva.
The Marquet Report on Embezzlement is an annual report put out by Marquet International, Ltd., a “an independent investigative, litigation support and security consulting firm” according to the company’s website.
Here are some of the key findings in the report:
• Women are more likely to embezzle than men.
• Men embezzle significantly more than women.
• Perpetrators typically begin their embezzlement schemes in their early 40s.
• By a significant margin, embezzlers are most likely to be individuals who hold
financial positions within organizations.
• The two broad industry categories that have the highest risk for a major
embezzlement are Financial Services and Government Agencies/Municipalities.
• The Financial Services industry suffers the greatest losses from major
• On average, major embezzlement schemes last about 4½ years.
• California and Florida are consistently the states that experience the greatest
losses from major embezzlements.
• The vast majority of major embezzlements are caused by sole perpetrators
• Gambling is a clear motivating factor in driving some major embezzlements.
• Fewer than 10 percent of embezzlers have a criminal record – less than expected, but enough to suggest that pre-employment screening has merit.
Some takeaways: 1) Immediately suspect anyone that gambles. Even if it’s bingo games in the church basement; 2) If you’re in California or Florida you’ve got your work cut out for you; 3) By “a significant margin” they mean accounting/finance personnel were responsible in 67% of the cases. Executives were second, in 13% of the cases.
Annnnd since we know you’re wondering: the largest embezzlement case in 2009 was none other than our Suz. Based on the criteria above, it appears that she should have been under suspicion from day one but you can’t fault Grant Thornton too much. This is only the second report that Marquet has issued so chances are she still would have made off with $20 million. Oh well, you’ll get ’em next time!
The top ten from 2009:
Report On Major Embezzlements 2009.pdf
Preliminary Analytics | 12.21.09
• Health-care bill clears crucial vote in Senate, 60 to 40 – “The vote was the first of three procedural hurdles that Democrats must cross before a final vote on passage of the measure, now scheduled for Christmas Eve.” [Washington Post]
• Bye-bye Bo-Tax. Hello, Tan Tax – Angelo Mozilo will not stand for this. [Don’t Mess With Taxes]
• Top Ten Ways to Ensure a Smooth Audit – Communication seems to be a theme. There’s a concept. [Mission Accountable]
• An Inside Look at JPMorgan Outplacement [FINS]
• Dubai World poised to press for loan extensions – No word if DW plans on actually paying the loans back. [Reuters]
• IRS Files $8.15 million in Tax Liens Against Sinbad – Despite filing tax returns, Sinbad didn’t pay the tax owed from 1998 to 2006. [TaxProf Blog]
• 2009: The Year of the Failed Banks – Seven more this past Friday, bringing the total to 140. [The D&O Diary]
An Opportunity Lost
Gang, we’re a little upset about something today. Last week we told you about something that had the potential to turn awards for accountants on its green eyeshade wearing head.
Yes, we’re talking about the doomed Deloitte ballot sent out by Holly Leam-Taylor. Today would have been the day that she had sent out the results of her sluttiest future partner, hottest old man, et al. awards, if it had not been for her inexperience with sending out superficial emails about her colleagues.
If Holly had only consulted with someone, anyone with experience on such matters, they could have explained that Deloitte is not a place for such “fun” things and that using her work email was not the best way to solicit nominations.
Alas, our request for someone to pick up where Holly left off has been roundly ignored and here we are on a Friday with nothing to share about Deloitte’s hottest men in London.
So far we’ve been unable to track down Holly since her Deloitte email has been obliterated. Holly, if you’re out there, get in touch. We’ll get your side of the story out there. We know you’re fed up but this will be fun. We promise. Anyone else that can put us in touch with Holly, please help. We’re still getting over our disappointment.
Deloitte Changes Its Mind on Kohlberg Capital’s Ability to Value Its Investments
A friend of GC pointed us to this 8-K filed by Kohlberg Capital Corporation yesterday. Unless we’re misinterpreting this, there are some seriously awkward conversations going on between Deloitte and Kohlberg right now (our empahsis):
Deloitte issued an unqualified opinion on the Company’s December 31, 2008 financial statements, which was included in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 16, 2009. The Company is not aware of any allegation or belief by Deloitte that the information provided by the Company to Deloitte at the time of the preparation of the Financial Statements regarding the Company’s valuation methodology and procedures was incomplete or inaccurate or omitted any information requested by Deloitte at such time. On December 10, 2009, the Company and its management were advised by Deloitte that (i) the audit report issued by Deloitte accompanying the Company’s financial statements for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2008 in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for such fiscal year and (ii) Deloitte’s completed interim reviews of the Company’s financial statements for the interim periods ended March 31, 2009 and June 30, 2009 in the Company’s Quarterly Reports on Form 10−Q for those respective periods should no longer be relied upon because Deloitte had changed its position with respect to the appropriateness of the methodology and procedures used by the Company under SFAS 157 to value the Company’s investments as of the end of each of those periods and, as a result, the Company has been informed that Deloitte now believes, based upon such changed position and the additional information provided to Deloitte by the Company following Deloitte’s internal inspection process, that such Financial Statements contain material misstatements with respect to the value of the Company’s investments included therein. Accordingly, the Financial Statements should not be relied upon until the foregoing matters are resolved.
This filing followed up Kohlberg’s filing of an 8-K and form 12b-25 on November 9th to let everyone know, um, yeah, that Q is going to be late because Team D wants to take a look at this 157 stuff again. That was probably annoying enough.
But nowwwww it looks like the audit team spent the last month realizing that the pooch had been screwed on the last two 10-Qs annnnd last year’s 10-K. So yeah, don’t pay attention to the those filings. The one bright side to this is that Kohlberg had the sense to not file an unreviewed Q.
If you’ve got details on this, definitely get in touch with us, we’d love to know how the partner broke the news and how Kohlberg took it. The 8-K certainly doesn’t do that conversation justice.