White Collar Fraud is the blog of Sam E. Antar. Sammy was the CFO for Crazy Eddie, a consumer electronics chain from the ’80s. He and others at Crazy Eddie were cooking the books right under their auditors noses. They eventually pulled out every cent they could and sold the company. The new owners quickly realized they had purchased a sinking ship.
The SEC investigated. There were criminal and civil prosecutions. A few jail terms were handed out.
Sammy now writes and lectures about white collar fraud. His site is a great resource for understanding how fraud occurs within a company. I’ve seen a couple of the things he talks about that make the atmosphere ripe for fraud:
- New and inexperienced accountants being sent out to do the field audit
- Firms providing both auditing and consulting services for a company (which is a conflict of interests)
The really interesting thing you take away from Sammy’s experienced view is that fraud is not complicated. It’s just an alley-way shell game. Just fast fingers and smooth talkin’.
He’s the first person to tell people two things; Don’t trust him. Don’t trust that his apologies for what he did are sincere. What you can trust is that he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to fraud.
There are some good lessons to be learned from him. You need to protect your company from the dark forces on the outside …
and the inside.