Lessons in SEC’s Latest Accounting Case


On Monday the SEC hit a Korean microchip manufacturer, MagnaChip Semiconductor, with a $3 million fine for accounting fraud—an extensive scheme to falsify revenue for several years, that wiped out more than two-thirds of the company’s value to investors. We have two lessons to learn here. First, even amid all the anti-regulatory fervor of the…

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Connecting Fraud, Pressure, and Culture

anti-fraud triangle

What’s the difference between a high performance culture, and a high-pressure one? The distinction is important, after all. Pressure is one of the three forces that drive employees to commit fraud, along with rationalization and opportunity. We see pressure all the time in Corporate America, manifesting in all sorts of troublesome ways. Exhibit A would…

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Fitting the Fraud Triangle to Wells Fargo

wells fargo

This week I had the good fortune to participate in a compliance forum hosted by Thomson Reuters here in Boston, talking about how to engage with front-line employees to foster a strong compliance program. The conversation was excellent, especially because we had an example ripped from the headlines of how not to manage compliance in…

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Compliance Tech Challenges: The T&E Example

There we were last week, 14 of us, sitting around a large restaurant table to enjoy lunch and talk about data analytics tools to help compliance officers do their jobs. One participant vented about his company’s software to track travel and entertainment expenses. “I don’t like it,” the person said. “You get training on how…

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Tale From the Front Lines of Small Frauds

I have always been a believer in paying my credit card balances in full, every month. So when Mrs. Radical Compliance had a few minutes last Saturday afternoon, I was happy to see that she decided to do the same with a personal credit card she has, too. This credit card is affiliated with one of…

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More on Compliance, Audit, and Supply Chain Fraud

Deloitte today published some fresh research confirming what many compliance officers probably already suspect: supply chain fraud continues to be a serious problem for many companies, and one that most organizations aren’t terribly adept at fighting. The fundamental problem is how to fit modern anti-fraud procedures into global corporations’ convoluted payment approval process. We have…

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