The Enron and WorldCom scandals were arguably the incidents that permanently changed the procedures for accounting controls. In response to these incidents, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) of 2002 was passed. Once the knowledge of these scandals was made public, a number of subsequent accounting scandals were discovered in public companies such as Tyco International, HealthSouth, and American Insurance Group. In addition, a then-employee-owned company, Post, Buckley, Schuh & Jernigan, Inc. (dba PBS&J, now known as “Atkins North America, Inc.”), was also hit by a similar accounting scandal. Henceforth, a case study of PBS&J is presented where we will examine the fraudulent transactions that
In recent news, an alleged Sarbanes-Oxley Act violation has been revealed at the United States based corporate giant, Wal-Mart, where executives are accused of engaging in bribing Mexican officials to facilitate corporate growth throughout the country.
The Molex Corporation is an electronic connector manufacturing firm, which is based in Illinois. This company is facing a financial reporting problem in which the financial statements were overstated. Joe King ,the CEO of the company, was appointed in July of 2001, and was responsible for managing and inventory control, among other very important duties. Diane Bullock was hired in 2003, to replace the previous CFO. Both Bullock and King were being accused of what? by the external auditors, Deloitte & Touche, for not disclosing an 8 million pre-tax inventory valuation error.
The situation began to unfold when the Securities and Exchange Commission was probing into a restatement of the company's stock price. Kozlowski's business practices raised some eyebrows. In 1999, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) initiated an inquiry into Tyco's practices that resulted in a restatement of the company's earnings. In January, 2002, questionable accounting practices came to light. Tyco had forgiven a $19 million, no-interest loan to Kozlowski in 1998 and had paid the CEO's income taxes on the loan. It was found that he company's stock price had been overrated, and that the CEO and CFO had sold 100 million dollars' worth of shares, and then stated to the public that he was holding them, which was a misrepresentation and misled the investors.
Organizational misconduct is the chief cause behind corporate accounting scandals. The trusted executives of the corporation participation in actions during a scandal are corrupt and illegal. In the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is typically the government agency that investigates such scandals. One of the most notorious corporate accounting scandals in the United States is the HealthSouth Corporation scandal of 2003. HealthSouth Corporation is one of the United States largest health care providers with locations nationwide. A deeper inspection of the HealthSouth scandal is needed to understand how it transpired by assessing how it was executed, the accounting issues and root of the issue, how it was exposed, the results to the company and its officers, and warranted ramifications as an outcome of the scandal.
Richard Scrushy defrauded, stakeholders, stockholders, and the community out of millions of dollars. His deceptive, unethical, and commanding behavior was the stone that caused the biggest misappropriation avalanche of all time. We must consider this question, how is corporate cheating happening and who is heading the deception? Behind every crime, there is a ringleader or a group of individuals "calling the shots." In this case, Scrushy was the one who told his "family meeting members" to "fix" financial records, so HealthSouth to meet or exceed the business financial goals. A person from the beginning may have the objective to cheat; others get sucked into the whirlpool of white-collar crime.
Overview of the Case: The Securities and Exchange Commission claims Mark D. Begelman misused proprietary information regarding the merger of Bluegreen Corporation with BFC Financial Corporation. Mr. Begelman allegedly learned of the acquisition through a network of professional connections known as the World Presidents’ Organization (Maglich). Members of this organization freely share non-public business information with other members in confidence; however, Mr. Begelman allegedly did not abide by the organization’s mandate of secrecy and leveraged private information into a lucrative security transaction. As stated in the summary of the case by the SEC, “Mark D. Begelman, a member of the World Presidents’ Organization (“WPO”), abused
A. Belnick, Dennis Kozlowski, and Mark Swartz. They were charged with falsifying business records in order to conceal their questionable tactics in regards to getting loans without obtaining anyone’s approval. The earnings per share was affected negatively by the fraudulent record keeping, and the president of the Fire and Security division, Jerry Boggess, was an accomplice and fired as a result . After avoiding a million dollar tax bill for the purchase of artwork worth $14 million, Dennis Kozlowski was indicted for tax evasion by the DA of New York. Richard Scalzo was responsible for auditing the financials of Tyco. He participated in improper conduct because he did not implement the proper measures within his audit duties as it pertains
Cardillo Travel Systems, Inc. was acquired in 1956 by Arnold Walter Rognlien who at the time was an established auto parts salesman. The company quickly became the fourth largest company in the travel agency industry and the first to be listed on a national stock exchange (Rittenberg, Johnstone, Gramling & Knapp, 2012). In 1986, the company experienced financial hardship due to liquidation problems and a civil lawsuit requiring them to pay $685,000. To make matters worse that same year the company was at the center of a financial reporting scandal when the SEC investigated claims that it received a payment from United Airlines for $203,000 and did not disclose the specifics of the transaction to auditors, shareholders or the public.
In recent year we have seen numerous companies fail as a result of these bad and/or fraudulent practices. In 1998 the publicly traded Waste Management Company falsely reported 1.7 billion in earnings. They got caught when the new CEO and management team went through the books.
Records falsification was not the only illegal activity the Rigas family was wrapped up in. The family used company funds, unbeknownst to their investors, to finance personal endevours and interests. Examples include using corporate money to build a $12.8 million golf course on the Rigas property, using the company plane for personal vacation trips including a safari to Africa, and funding for two Manhattan apartments for his family (Markon, 2014). Not only this, but John Rigas purportedly used the company jet to fly a Christmas tree two times to his daughter in New York (Barlaup, 2009)! All of these incidents are just brief excerpts of the fraud and misuse of company funds that John Rigas and his family committed without any intention of ever paying back into the company. These actions, namely lying and stealing, prove to be the heart of the two moral issues that will be further analyzed.
The illegal construction of the Bernie Madoff securities pyramid scheme grew to preposterous proportions from legal, auditing, and regulatory weaknesses of the Securities Exchange Commission, the designated regulatory body of the U.S. financial markets. The required expertise, authority, and relevant penalties needed to deter management from committing ethical breaches lacked substance in the case study of BMIS (Crews 11). Even after the wake of the Enron and WorldCom scandals that occurred in the early 2000s, the SEC unexplainably revoked provisions created to help avoid fraud. The provision the SEC revoked specifically mandated firms structured like Madoff’s to be audited by accounting firms registered and audited by the Board. By revoking the provision, BMIS was allowed to continue its Ponzi scheme for another half a decade with the aid of utilizing an unregistered, small accounting firm called Freihling & Horowitz (“Madoff’s Jenga”
This research paper will explore the fraud at Tyco and focus primarily on accounting and auditing issues related to the fraud. One thing worth noting about this case is that fraudulent financial reporting was not at the core of the fraud, which was the case with majority other big frauds at the time, such as Enron and Waste Management. On the contrary, fraud consisted of misappropriation of assets, and fraudulent financial reporting came as a consequence of trying to hide misappropriation of assets and the use of corporate money for personal benefit.
This paper will discuss the corporation WorldCom, a telecommunications company that was based in Mississippi. In 2002 WorldCom was involved in one of the largest accounting scandals in the United States. WorldCom inflated its assets by nearly $11 billion dollars, which eventually lead to about 30,000 employees losing their jobs, as well as, 180-billion dollars in losses for its investors. The CEO at the time of this accounting fraud was Bernard Ebbers and led to him receiving a 25-year prison sentence. This paper will go into the details of how WorldCom was able to manipulate its accounting records to deceive its internal auditors, as well as, investors.