Is it better to look good than have money?

Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, Advanced Accounting, All Articles, Auditing, Cost Accounting, Financial Accounting, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Financial Statement Analysis, Fraud Accounting, Intermediate Accounting, Managerial Accounting.

Here’s a quirky little story. American money has been consolidated into a single system of currency since the late 1800s. As part of this, U.S. dollars have been printed on a unique cotton blend paper, supplied by only one company (Crane) for more than a century. The chief cotton ingredient has been denim. However, since… Read more »

Target hit by credit-card breach

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On December 19, 2013, Target admitted that it was hit by an extensive theft of its customers’ credit-card and debit-card data over the Black Friday weekend. The theft was national in scope and happened in stores, not online. Questions: 1. When and what happened with respect to a card breach at T.J. Maxx and Marshalls… Read more »

Do you really have a 2nd job?

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This is an interesting fraud that took place at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). John Beale, a retired, former EPA employee, collected paychecks from approximately the year 2000 through 2013 even though he had absence totaling about 2 1/2 years. What was his alibi? He claimed falsely that he was simultaneously working undercover in special… Read more »

Fraud is quicker than the law?

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Without regulation of Bitcoin, consumers have no protection in a Bitcoin economy. The virtual currency continues to result in swindles, with little prospect of a crackdown. Questions: 1. What is a pump-and-dump scheme? 2. What event(s) sent Bitcoin’s price tumbling? 3. In the U.S., the SEC has not ruled that Bitcoin is a security. However,… Read more »

Plain English: It’s all about influence!

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In June, GSO Capital Partners LP, a unit of the Blackstone Group LP provided a loan to Codere SA, a Spanish gaming operator who owns betting parlors and race tracks in Europe and South America. Interestingly, the terms of the loan provided a guaranteed return on credit default swaps, which outmaneuvered sellers of the protection…. Read more »

How do Nonprofit Organizations Deal with Fraud?

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Nonprofit organization, all too often take a common approach of foregoing legal action against fraudsters rather than prosecuting them. This article covers a recent fraud and explains why many nonprofits bypass legal action in exchange for cash. Questions: 1. Summarize the case of fraud at the Progressive Policy Institute and include red flags of fraud… Read more »

A Dragnet for Astroturfing

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As a result of a year-long investigation, New York regulators will announced on September 23, 2013 that they would crackdown on deceptive and fake Internet reviews on products and services. Agreements have been reached with 19 companies to cease their misleading practices and pay a total of $350,000 in penalties. Questions: 1. Where were some… Read more »

The Reinvention of Pawn Shops

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The pawnshop industry is growing. In 2007, there were approximately 6,400 pawn shops nation-wide. Now there are over 10,000. The expansion in pawnshops is fed, in part, by the increased number of Americans with tarnished credit which often bars them from the mainstream financial system. This article explains some of the niche services now offered… Read more »

Donald Trump is in the News Again!

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New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, has sued Donald Trump for $40 million as a result of what he terms a fraudulent educational program through “Trump University.” The program promised to make students rich but instead steered them into expensive and useless seminars. They also failed to deliver promised apprenticeships. Questions: 1. Instead of meeting… Read more »

Ring-around-the-Rosy

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Did you know that you are paying a fraction of a cent every time you open a can of soda (or other canned beverages)? Why? It is because Goldman Sachs and other financial players have maneuvered the price of aluminum. Each day, a fleet of trucks shuffles 1,500-pound bars of aluminum among 27 warehouses in… Read more »