The Great Salad Oil Swindle

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The $150 million (approximately $1.2 Billion in 2017) fraud detailed in The Great Salad Oil Swindle is considered a classic in fraud auditing. The exposé was published in 1965 by Wall Street Journal reporter Norman Miller and earned him a Pulitzer Prize, the highest achievement in American journalism. The story of perpetrator Anthony De Angelis, known by his associates as “Tino”, is unique because of the extreme disassociation from reality by all parties involved, which consequently created the extraordinary opportunity necessary for a fraudster to evade being caught. The great magnitude of the swindle justifies the need for adequate internal controls and regulatory oversight, and shows how disaster can transpire when these necessary…show more content…
Obviously, Tino’s ego was bloated from the beginning and would be a large factor in the swindle he would perpetrate two decades later. Spurred by increased responsibilities from marriage and the birth of his son, Tino turned his enterprising mind into overdrive, founding M&D Hog Cutters with borrowed money. Unlike the candy store, Tino’s new venture proved wildly successful. Incredibly, Tino had turned a $2000 investment into $100,000 in the very first year. Tino was only twenty-three years old, and his ego was even larger. He claimed he was “such a big shot that he was able to avoid the draft as he was such an important pork supplier to the army” and that he “prospered greatly during the war” Anthony claimed that increased wealth “didn’t change his personal life, but allowed him to further his charitable efforts.” For example, Tino started “giving away seeing-eye dogs and bicycles” (Miller 15). For Tino, his success during the war was not because of his patriotic efforts in supplying the army with pork. According to sources close to De Angelis at that time, Anthony’s hog cutting company prospered because it was built entirely on black market meat sales (Miller 16). Yet, Tino recounts his early wealth as patriotic and charity driven. It is internal narratives such as these that reinforce the rationalization for fraud. Typically, and as is seen many times from De Angelis’ story, a fraudster’s ego convinces them

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