‘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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Oracle Hit 2nd Time on FCPA Violations

Oracle

The Securities and Exchange Commission has sanctioned Oracle for violations of the FCPA, the software giant’s second such incident in 10 years and one that provides a chance for the rest of us to talk about recidivist FCPA offenders.  What happened? In one sense, the usual. Throughout the 2010s, Oracle subsidiaries in India, Turkey, and…

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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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Why Segregation of Duties Matters

segregation

Today I want to circle back to that crazy case from Georgia, of a corporate lawyer disbarred for fabricating employee complaints so he could then draw up phony settlements and embezzle the money. The misconduct alone is astonishing, but we should also ask: what are the internal control failures that would allow something like this…

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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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FCPA Reminders From Stericycle

Stericycle, the global medical waste giant, has agreed to settle FCPA charges against the company for widespread bribery in Latin America, giving the rest of us another case with lessons about the risks of rapid international growth and poor corporate culture. The settlement was announced Wednesday. Stericycle will pay $84 million in penalties to the…

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KT Pays $6.3M to End FCPA Case

KT

Compliance professionals have quite the FCPA case to consider this week, courtesy of the Securities and Exchange Commission hitting Korea’s largest telecommunications carrier with $6.3 million in penalties and disgorgement for all manner of corrupt practices in the 2010s. The company, KT Corp., has a long history of corruption. KT agreed to settle the SEC…

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