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Here Are Two Examples of Things Not to Say When You’re at Your Local IRS Office

Let’s open with, “If I don’t see [so and so], I will blow this place up.” That’s a definite no-no. Also to be avoided would be statements such as, “You’re gone. You’re all [redacted but I’m guessing it was “fucking”] gone. You’re gonners.” And yet that’s what 48 year-old Paul Weber did in La Crosse, Wisconsin. What’s especially odd is that Weber didn’t make these statements in immediate succession. He first asked for “Kevin” then made the threat, bolted the office only to return and make the second threat. I guess Weber felt like returning in order to take a stand. Which is more than we can say for the Democrats in Madison.

[via La Crosse Tribune]

“The Packer Franchise Has Such a Deep History,” The Email Begins

If this doesn’t convince you accountants are important, nothing will:

I noticed this article during a visit back to my hometown of Green Bay. Now this is something I think we all can aspire to. The Packer franchise has such a deep history, and especially interesting as the Packers are the only publicly-owned professional football franchise in the NFL (and maybe the only sports franchise in the US) where you can purchase shares of its stock. Go Pack.


“Green Bay Packers likely owe existence to treasurer Frank Jonet”

The Green Bay Press-Gazette shares the story of guys with money who stepped up to save a team they loved:

Even casual students of Green Bay Packers history might recognize the names of the local businessmen who played the key roles in keeping the franchise afloat through its economically turbulent first 30 years.

There’s the legendary Curly Lambeau, whose statue sits in front of the Lambeau Field Atrium, and the rest of the “Hungry Five” who made sure the team stayed solvent in its most dire days: Andrew Turnbull, the former Green Bay Press-Gazette publisher and first team president; Lee Joannes, a local grocery wholesaler and team president from 1930-47; Dr. W.W. Kelly, another original franchise officer who doubled as the team’s first physician; and Gerald Clifford, the Packers’ long-time attorney who in 1923 drew up the papers for their one-of-a-kind incorporation.

And what’s early Packers history without mention of George Calhoun, the irascible Press-Gazette sports editor who relentlessly promoted the team after a chance meeting with Lambeau on a Green Bay street corner in 1919 spurred the idea for a local professional football club?

But even experts on the Packers’ early years might not have heard of Frank Jonet, the taciturn, civic-minded accountant who helped steer the franchise through bankruptcy receivership in the mid-1930s and played a key role in the desperate stock sales of 1935 and 1950 that kept the franchise alive.

“I find it strange that (Jonet) wasn’t better known, particularly because he was the financial receiver of the franchise at a time when this team was very, very close to going out of business,” said Bob Harlan, the Packers’ chairman emeritus, who will present Jonet into the team’s hall of fame on Saturday. “The Circuit Court really threatened him, either pay these bills or close up your shop. He was one of the leaders who saw to it that this team continued to exist.”

The entire thing is too long to read even for me and that’s my team but you’re welcome to.

The short version is that the team suffered through multiple financial crises and survived somehow.

Ron Johnson Would Like to Be the Second Accountant in the U.S. Senate

Because God knows 57 lawyers is far too many and Russ Feingold just happens to be one of them.

As you may be aware, this is the second relatively high-profile race where an accountant and lawyer face off that we’ve covered. In the South Carolina governor’s race tax-tardy accountant Nikki Haley is facing special-interest whore Vince Sheheen. We should also note the the Senate race in New York between incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand (lawyer) and Joseph DioGuardi (accountant) but so far it’s been fairly boring unless DioGuardi happens to make an issue out of Gillibrand’s hotness.

Anyhoo, similar to those two races, the ballot in Wisconsin will appear as follows:

Accountant (R)
Lawyer (D)

So as voters, when faced with such a choice, should we assume that the accountant running for office is family values type that believes in cutting taxes and reducing spending (with no intent to do so) and the lawyer is a spineless tax and spend type that fails to accomplish anything even when they have the political power or leverage?

Wisconsin is doomed.

A Wisconsin Non-Profit Learns an Important Lesson in Internal Controls

Presented by Serenic Software. Download our free whitepaper – “5 Key Reasons Why Great Financial Management is So Important for Your Nonprofit Now”

What is in the water up in America’s Dairyland? We’ve been going on and on about the internal control failures at Koss in Milwaukee but now there’s more of it at a non-profit organization just up the road. Let’s hope everyone at UW Madison is taking notes.

The latest tale of non-profit fraud stars 56 year-old Leonard V. Lauth of Beaver Dam.

Wings Over Wisconsin bills itself as a conservation organization dedicated to natural resource preservation and education through youth and community involvement. Spelling errors and obvious lack of updates since 2006 on its website aside, WOW manages nearly 1,300 acres of land and provides mostly young hunter education to the future gun-toting blue-stater babes in Wisconsin.

While it prides preservation of Wisconsin’s precious wetlands, internal controls do not appear to be high on WOW’s priority list. Hopefully this changes that.

It’s a textbook fraud case, starting with the mounting medical bills and the poor internal controls that allowed its Treasurer to lift $16,875 since 2005. Lauth’s advanced methods of fraud include writing checks to himself labeled “office supplies” in the books and taking home banquet funds after the event insisting he’d deposit them at the bank in the morning.

While typically WOW practice to require two signatures, Lauth had been with the organization for 24 years, leaving the “trust” issue totally taken care of. Opportunity, motive, what else do we need?

Rationalization, of course! Lauth told Beaver Dam Police Lt. Joel Kiesow he thought he’d taken $788 from the organization in the four year period in which he executed his fraud. When informed it was more like $17,000, Lauth was shocked. I guess he didn’t realize how expensive “office supplies” can be these days.

“Maybe I was robbing Peter to pay Paul on different things,” said Lauth in regards to using WOW funds to pay off family medical bills. Actually, he was robbing the little Dustins and Bobbys with their baby shotguns and wildlife of Wisconsin who counted on the funds to which he so sloppily helped himself. Shame shame.

Let this be a lesson to all you non-profits: cash management and financial literacy (including fraud prevention measures) are not only best practices for public companies and private industry. If anything, non-profits need sharper internal controls – without shareholders to answer to, money can easily slip into the fraud vacuum undetected for years, as in the case of Mr Lauth and WOW.

Calls to WOW left after business hours were not returned.

Man accused of taking funds from non profit [Beaver Dam Daily Citizen]