‘Office Space,’ Fraud, and Controls

Office Space

They say that life sometimes imitates art. Now we have an example of that in the world of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, courtesy of that knucklehead in Seattle charged the other week with embezzling company money just like those characters in the film “Office Space.”  You may have already seen the headlines. A former IT employee at…

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More on SEC, Auditors, and Fraud Risk

Today I want to return to that statement the Securities and Exchange Commission published last week, urging auditors to do better at assessing fraud risk among their clients. There’s more to unpack here, both in how audit firms might try to handle those marching orders and in how companies could address fraud risk themselves.  As…

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SEC to Auditors: Do Better on Fraud Risk

fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission is urging auditors to do better at assessing fraud risk among their clients — a rather notable statement peppered with keywords such as “gatekeepers” and “protection of investors,” clearly intended to warn audit firms that the agency wants to see improvement here. The statement came on Tuesday from Paul Munter,…

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SEC Hits VMWare on Earnings Management

VMWare

The Securities and Exchange Commission slapped software giant VMWare with accounting fraud charges Monday, accusing it of slow-rolling the delivery of software to customers so the company could prop up its order backlog and delay revenue recognition into future quarters.  VMWare will pay $8 million to settle the charges, a paltry sum for a $10…

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Fresh Lessons on Management Fraudsters

fraud

One of the largest PR firms in the world is going through its own minor PR crisis this week, with its former CFO pleading guilty to embezzling $16 million from the firm over the course of nearly a decade.  Frank Okunak, who ran financial operations at PR firm Weber Shandwick from 2009 to 2019, pleaded…

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SEC Hits Software Firm on Accounting Fraud

controls

The Securities and Exchange Commission has fined a New Jersey software firm $12.5 million for accounting fraud in the 2010s, in a case offering multiple lessons about poor management and internal control failures in the tricky world of software sales.  The company in question is Synchronoss Technologies, which sells software to telecommunications firms. The SEC…

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Moderna CFO Fired After First Day

Moderna

Wild news in the Covid-19 world today: Vaccine maker Moderna has fired its new CFO one day into the job, after the executive’s previous employer disclosed in an SEC filing that it had launched an investigation into fraudulent financial reporting.  Moderna disclosed the departure of Jorge Gomez in a terse press release issued Wednesday morning.…

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Middling News on Anti-Fraud Efforts

fraud

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners has a report out this week about which technologies companies are using to fight fraud, although one major theme is that plenty of companies still use traditional anti-fraud tactics — even as the nature of fraud risk is changing rapidly. Hmmm.  ACFE’s 2022 Anti-Fraud Benchmarking Report polled more than…

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Study: Whistleblower Awards Cut Fraud Risk

whistleblower

Compliance professionals have another neato academic study to start your week, this one finding that the whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act reduce the risk of accounting fraud at publicly traded firms by as much as 22 percent. Measuring the effect of Dodd-Frank’s whistleblower provisions has long been tricky business, because the law went into…

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SEC Charges Taxi Lender With Fraud

fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged the head of a New York financial firm with fraud, saying he paid media consultants to write bogus stories and offered kickbacks to valuation firms, all to prop up a banking subsidiary that lent money to taxi drivers and held the cabbies’ medallions as collateral.  The driver of…

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