Accounting Scandal Updates and Other Fraud Between April 1 and April 30, 2009
Bob Jensen at
Trinity University

Bob Jensen's Main Fraud Document --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm 

Bob Jensen's Enron Quiz (and answers) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnronQuiz.htm

Bob Jensen's Enron Updates are at --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnron.htm#EnronUpdates 

Other Documents

Many of the scandals are documented at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud.htm 

Resources to prevent and discover fraud from the Association of Fraud Examiners --- http://www.cfenet.com/resources/resources.asp 

Self-study training for a career in fraud examination --- http://marketplace.cfenet.com/products/products.asp 

Source for United Kingdom reporting on financial scandals and other news --- http://www.financialdirector.co.uk 

Updates on the leading books on the business and accounting scandals --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud.htm#Quotations 

I love Infectious Greed by Frank Partnoy ---  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud.htm#Quotations 

Bob Jensen's American History of Fraud ---  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/415wp/AmericanHistoryOfFraud.htm

Future of Auditing --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudConclusion.htm#FutureOfAuditing 

"What’s Your Fraud IQ?  Think you know enough about corruption to spot it in any of its myriad forms? Then rev up your fraud detection radar and take this (deceptively) simple test." by Joseph T. Wells, Journal of Accountancy, July 2006 --- http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/jul2006/wells.htm

What Accountants Need to Know --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#AccountantsNeedToKnow

Global Corruption (in legal systems) Report 2007 --- http://www.transparency.org/content/download/19093/263155

Tax Fraud Alerts from the IRS --- http://www.irs.gov/compliance/enforcement/article/0,,id=121259,00.html

White Collar Fraud Site --- http://www.whitecollarfraud.com/
Note the column of links on the left.

Bob Jensen's essay on the financial crisis bailout's aftermath and an alphabet soup of appendices can be found at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm

The Heroes of Financial Fraud, The Atlantic, April 2009 --- http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/04/the_heroes_of_financial_fraud.php

History of Fraud in America ---  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/415wp/AmericanHistoryOfFraud.htm

Rotten to the Core --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on fraud are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud.htm




PBS Video on Multinational Illegal Payments
FRONTLINE: Black Money --- http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/blackmoney/


"The Silicosis Abdication:  A scam that deserves as much scrutiny as Lerach and Scruggs," The Wall Street Journal, April 7, 2009 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123905959870594889.html

It is going on four years since a Texas judge blew the whistle on widespread silicosis fraud, exposing a ring of doctors and lawyers who ginned up phony litigation to reap jackpot payouts. So where's the enforcement follow-up?

That's an especially apt question given news that New York's State Board for Professional Medical Conduct has finally revoked the license of Dr. Ray Harron. He was among the doctors who Texas Judge Janis Graham Jack showed had fraudulently diagnosed thousands of plaintiffs with silicosis, a rare lung disease. These doctors were later called to testify in Congress, where many, including Dr. Harron, took the Fifth Amendment.

Dr. Harron has since lost his medical licenses in California, New Mexico, Texas, Florida, North Carolina and Mississippi. This is progress, though hardly sufficient. Among the questions Congress asked state departments of health during the silicosis hearings were why those bodies hadn't moved to shut down these doctors and their mobile X-ray vans at the time they were committing medical malpractice.

New York is belatedly joining the queue, and its order stripping Dr. Harron of his license is particularly noteworthy. After outlining his unethical actions, and citing other medical boards that had denied him a new license, it summarized: "[Dr. Harron] was part of an operation to find plaintiffs with silicosis whether or not they really had silicosis. This is perpetrating a fraud on the courts."

Precisely. The question is what anybody else is doing about it. Judge Jack's findings inspired U.S. attorneys in the Southern District of New York to convene a grand jury investigation into silicosis fraud. The criminal division of the Texas state attorney general also went this route. We know both juries subpoenaed doctors and documents involved in the Jack case. While these physicians bear responsibility for negligent medical practices, the Jack trial and Congressional hearings made clear that many were taking orders from the trial bar. Dr. Harron has stated in court that he "capitulated" to attorney demands that he include inaccurate language in his silicosis reports.

Yet these grand juries have yet to result in prosecutions. The feds and Texas aside, it would seem incumbent upon New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to follow up on his own state medical board's determination of fraud. A follow-up is especially important given that, prior to their silicosis escapade, these doctors made millions working for trial attorneys on asbestos. According to the Johns Manville Bankruptcy Trust, six of the doctors at the center of the silicosis fraud were also responsible for at least 140,000 asbestos-lawsuit diagnoses. Dr. Harron alone diagnosed an astonishing 51,048 people with asbestos-related disease.

The silicosis litigation machine broke down after Judge Jack's ruling, yet hundreds of thousands of phony asbestos-related diagnoses continue to clog courts. An Ohio state court in 2006 dismissed all cases that relied solely on Dr. Harron, and a federal court in Philadelphia recently did the same. But with medical boards now admitting these doctors were at the center of silicosis schemes to defraud courts, prosecutors ought to pursue their role in asbestos too.

The silicosis and asbestos scams are as corrosive to justice in their way as the cases that resulted in convictions for Bill Lerach, Dickie Scruggs and Melvyn Weiss for kickbacks or bribery. The difference is that these asbestos cases are still in court.

Bob Jensen's threads on the most fraudulent class in U.S. society --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm#Lawmakers


"Mortgage Fraud at All-Time High Incidents of Mortgage Fraud Increase 26% from 2007 to 2008," SmartPros, April 7, 2009 ---
http://accounting.smartpros.com/x65845.xml 

Reported incidents of mortgage fraud in the U.S. are at an all-time high and increased by 26 percent from 2007 to 2008 according to a new report released by the Mortgage Asset Research Institute (MARI).

Rhode Island, Florida and Illinois top the list of states with highest mortgage fraud rates. The 11th Periodic Mortgage Fraud Case Report to the Mortgage Banker's Association (MBA) examines the current state of residential mortgage fraud and misrepresentation in the U.S. based on data submitted by MARI subscribers.

The report found that, for the first time, Rhode Island ranked first in the country for mortgage fraud with more than three times the expected amount of reported mortgage fraud for its origination volume. This is also Rhode Island's first appearance on the MARI report Top-Ten list, indicating a problematic and overlooked mortgage fraud problem in the state. Florida, ranked first in 2007 and 2006, dropped to second place and is followed by Illinois, Georgia, Maryland, New York, Michigan, California, Missouri and Colorado. The report was presented during MBA's annual National Fraud Issues Conference in Las Vegas. It is available on the MARI Web site at: www.marisolutions.com.

“With fewer loan originations today, the data suggests that the economic downturn may have created more desperation, causing more people than ever before to try to commit mortgage fraud,” said Denise James, LexisNexis Risk & Information Analytics Group director of Residential Mortgage Solutions. “Not only are we seeing traditional fraud trends, such as application fraud, but we are also seeing new types of emerging fraud occur,” said James. “It is therefore imperative that the mortgage industry continue to share information and insights, and collaborate in the fight against mortgage fraud.”

The top fraud incident type in 2008 – representing 61% of all reported frauds – was application fraud, the fifth year in a row it topped the list. Second were frauds related to tax returns and financial statements which jumped 60% from 17% of reported frauds in 2007, to 28% of reported frauds in 2008. Additional documented fraud types included, in order of volume, frauds related to appraisals or valuations, verifications of deposit, verifications of employment, escrow or closing costs, and credit reports.

“MARI data shows that mortgage fraud is more prevalent today than it was at the height of the boom in mortgage loan originations,” said John Courson, president and chief executive officer of the Mortgage Bankers Association. “This report is essential reading for mortgage bankers who need to understand where mortgage fraud is coming from, what to watch for and how to protect our companies and communities.”

The report also found that:

After improving in 2006 and 2007, Georgia jumped from seventh to fourth place in 2008; California, ranked fourth in 2007, declined to eighth in 2008; Maryland jumped from fifteenth in 2007 to fifth in 2008; and The volume of reported frauds related to credit reports dropped from 9% to 4% between 2007 and 2008.

FBI, April 14, 2009 --- http://cincinnati.fbi.gov/doj/pressrel/2009/ci041409.htm

Kamal J. Gregory, 35, of Centerville, pleaded guilty in United States District Court here today to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Gregory committed the crimes in connection with an extensive mortgage fraud scheme affecting 210 residential properties, including 205 located in Montgomery County. The scheme affected 63 investors and led to foreclosure against owners of more than 90 percent of the properties.

Gregory G. Lockhart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Keith L. Bennett, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation; Jose A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, and other members of the Greater Dayton Mortgage Fraud Task Force announced the plea entered today before U.S. District Judge Michael R. Barrett.

In court documents, Gregory admitted that, between March 2002 and June 2008, he along with eleven other named individuals prepared and submitted on behalf of various purchasers/investors certain mortgage loan application packages to various lending institutions located throughout the United States.

These loan applications included documents that made fraudulent claims involving the income of the borrowers and values of the properties involved. Most of the homes involved were dilapidated and otherwise depressed properties located in the greater Dayton area. The loan application packages claimed the properties were worth prices which had been artificially inflated above legitimate fair-market values.

Gregory and his co-conspirators created the fraudulent loans as a way of making money for their own benefit.

Gregory admitted during his guilty plea hearing to participating in 46 separate fraudulent real estate closings between February 2003 and April 2005. The net fraudulent loan amounts associated with these closings exceeded $4,200,000. Gregory worked as a loan officer under individual or company names including Alliance Mortgage, Gregory Investments Inc., KG Enterprises, Mad River Properties, Premier Mortgage Funding of Ohio, Star Point Mortgage, and Ohio Financial Group.

A federal grand jury indicted Gregory and five co-conspirators, Julian M. Hickman, Robert Mitchell, Kenneth O. McGee, Edward McGee, and Jessica A. Zbacnik, in June 2008. Hickman pleaded guilty on December 12, 2008 to conspiracy and tax crimes and Mitchell pleaded guilty on March 11, 2009 to two counts of conspiracy. Both are awaiting sentencing.

Charges against Kenneth O. McGee, Edward McGee, and Jessica A. Zbacnik are pending.

The conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering is punishable by up to 30 years and a $1,000,000 fine. The conspiracy to commit money laundering is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment and a fine in the greater amount of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on how to prevent mortgage fraud are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm


It Just Gets Deeper and Deeper for KPMG

"Subprime Suit Accuses KPMG of Negligence:  A trustee for New Century Financial claims KPMG partners ignored lower ranks' concerns about the lender's accounting for loan reserves," by Sarah Johnson, CFO.com, April 2, 2009 --- http://www.cfo.com/article.cfm/13431126/c_2984368?f=FinanceProfessor/SBU

Two complaints filed in federal courts yesterday claim that KPMG auditors were complicit in allowing "aggressive accounting" to occur under their watch at New Century Financial, the mortgage lender that collapsed two years ago at the beginning of the subprime-mortgage mess.

The plaintiff, a New Century trustee, alleges that misstated financial reports were filed with the audit firm's rubber stamp because of its partners' fears of losing the lender's business. "KPMG acted as a cheerleader for management, not the public interest," one of the complaints says. The trustee further accuses the firm of "reckless and grossly negligent audits."

The plaintiff's law firm, Thomas Alexander & Forrester LLP, filed one action against KPMG LLP in California and another in New York against KPMG International. With the authority to "manage and control" its member firm, KPMG International failed to "ensure that audits under the KPMG name" lived up to the quality control and branding value that "it promised to the public," the lawsuit alleges.

Similar litigation has been unsuccessful in holding international auditing firms responsible for their affiliated but independent members. For example, a lawsuit that Thomas Alexander filed against BDO Seidman in a negligence case involving Banco Espirito Santo's financial statements resulted in a $521 million win for the plaintiff, pending an appeal. A case against BDO International is expected to go to trial later this year after an appeals court ruled that a jury should have decided whether it should have also been considered liable in the Banco case. Initially, a lower-court judge had dismissed the international organization from the case.

the international arm was intitially ruled as not being c, accused of also , the trial against BDO International for the same matter has yet to occur; courts have yet to decide whether BDO International could be held liable in the same matter after the international firm was but lawyers have been unable to get a judgment against BDO International in the same case. Steven Thomas, a partner at the law firm, did not immediately return CFO.com's request for comment.

KPMG resigned as New Century's auditor soon after the Irvine, California-based lender filed for bankruptcy protection in 2007. The auditor's role in the firm's failure has been questioned since then, by New Century's unsecured creditors and the bankruptcy court.

In the new lawsuit, KPMG LLP is accused of not giving credence to lower-level employees' concerns about their client's accounting flaws and not finishing its audit work before giving its final opinion — an account the firm disputes. In 2005, for instance, a partner was said to have "silenced" one of the firm's specialists who had questioned New Century's "incorrect accounting practice." The partner allegedly said, "I am very disappointed we are still discussing this.... The client thinks we are done. All we are going to do is piss everybody off."

Dan Ginsburg, KPMG LLP spokesman,says the above account is taken out of context and that the firm had followed its normal process; the firm's national office had already reviewed and signed off on the issue being disputed.

Furthermore, Ginsburg says any claims that the firm gave in to its client's demands "is unsupportable." He adds, "any implication that the collapse of New Century was related to accounting issues ignores the reality of the global credit crisis. This was a business failure, not an accounting issue."

New Century's business was heavy on loaning subprime-level mortgages, but its accounting methods did not fully recognize the risk of doing so, the lawsuit alleges. It also says the firm violated GAAP by using inaccurate loan-reserve calculations by taking out certain factors to keep its liability numbers down and its net income falsely propped up. KPMG is accused of ignoring this GAAP violation and advising the firm on how to get around the rules. The complaint says this was a $300 million mistake.

In its most recent inspection of KPMG, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board noted two occasions when the firm did not do enough audit work to be able to confidently trust its clients' allowances for loan losses.

Bob Jensen's threads on KPMG legal woes --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud001.htm#KPMG

 


From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Weekly Review on April 23, 2009

Report Faults World Bank's Anti-Fraud Methods
by Bob Davis
Apr 17, 2009
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123992586755527389.html?mod=djem_jiewr_AC

TOPICS: Auditing, Auditing Services, Internal Auditing, Internal Controls

SUMMARY: The World Bank's Independent Evaluation Group produced a report in fall 2008, which cited the bank's fraud-detection procedures in its main program providing aid to poor countries as a material weakness. This $40 billion program is called the International Development Association (IDA). "[World] Bank staffers said that the IDA program faces particularly difficult challenges because corruption is often a problem in especially poor countries....Generally, the IDA received good marks and the results 'should overall be considered a quite respectable outcome,' the report said."

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: The application of internal control procedures, and their independent testing, outside of corporations can be an eye-opener for students.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) What is the World Bank?

2. (Introductory) Who issued a report on the internal controls in place in World Bank programs? Why was this review of internal controls undertaken?

3. (Advanced) Describe a corporate function similar to the group that undertook the review described in answer to question 2 above.

4. (Advanced) Which World Bank program has been found to have material weaknesses in control systems? What system has been found as a material weakness?

5. (Advanced) Define the terms "material weakness" and "significant deficiency" in relation to audits of corporate internal control systems.

6. (Advanced) Do you think that the meaning of these terms in the report on World Bank programs is the same as the definitions you have provided? Why or why not?

Reviewed By: Judy Beckman, University of Rhode Island

 

"Report Faults World Bank's Anti-Fraud Methods," by Bob Davis, The Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2009 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123992586755527389.html?mod=djem_jiewr_AC

The World Bank's fraud-detection procedures in its main aid program to poor countries were labeled a "material weakness" in an internal report, adding to the bank's woes in handling corruption issues.

The bank's Independent Evaluation Group gave it the lowest possible rating for fraud-detection procedures in the $40 billion aid program, called the International Development Association. That could hurt contributions to the effort, which gives grants and interest-free loans to the world's 78 poorest countries.

The 690-page report, the first for the program, was completed last fall. Since then it has been the subject of lengthy discussions between World Bank management and the independent evaluation unit over whether the single designation of "material weakness," the lowest of four ratings, was justified. None of the program's other marks were as low; six other areas were labeled "significant deficiencies."

"The bank's traditional control systems weren't designed to address fraud and corruption," one of the report's authors, Ian Hume, said in an interview. "They were designed for efficiency and equity -- the cheapest possible price." That increases the risk that corruption could occur in the use of IDA grants, he said.

The World Bank has been pilloried by critics for years for not taking corruption seriously enough, and some staffers worried that the report's publication was being delayed for political reasons. The U.S., in particular, pushed for its publication, said bank staffers.

"We have had a tough but cordial interaction with [World Bank] management along the way," said Cheryl Gray, director of the evaluation group.

The report was published on the unit's Web site late Wednesday, but not publicized. Its presence was noted by a small icon on the bottom right of the page. Ms. Gray says that the group didn't intend to bury the report and said the unit didn't put out a press release because the report was "technical and jargony." After an inquiry from The Wall Street Journal, it was given greater prominence on the Web site. Ms. Gray said she had planned to make the change anyway.

The report concluded that the World Bank "has until recently had few if any specific tools" to directly address fraud and corruption "at all stages in the lending cycle." An advisory panel that backed the "material weakness" designation wrote that fraud and corruption issues "involve a considerable reputation risk, involving at least a potential loss of confidence by various stakeholders."

The Obama administration recently asked Congress to approve a three-year, $3.7 billion contribution to the bank's IDA program. A Democratic congressional staffer said it was too early to tell whether the report would make passage more difficult. Overall, the World Bank won commitments in December 2007 for $41.6 billion in funding for IDA over three years.

Bank staffers said that the IDA program faces particularly difficult challenges because corruption is often a problem in especially poor countries. "We operate in some of the most difficult and challenging environments in the world," Fayez Choudhury, the World Bank's controller, said in an interview. "We are always looking to up our game."

The bank's management pressed to get the fraud-and-corruption designation improved by a notch to "significant deficiency." It argued that the evaluation group didn't take into account steps it had taken over the past year to improve its controls.

"The bank is firmly committed to mainstreaming governance and anticorruption efforts into its development work," said a management statement. It listed a number of improvements including the creation of an independent advisory board. The bank said it is trying to better integrate fraud prevention and corruption prevention generally into its operations.

The report doesn't examine cases of actual corruption, though it notes there have been several instances that have received publicity, including health-clinic contracts in India. Rather, it looks at the systems and procedures in place to identify and prevent corruption.

The report uses standards similar to those applied to corporate controls. Generally, the IDA received good marks and the results "should overall be considered a quite respectable outcome," the report said.

For decades, the World Bank largely ignored corruption, figuring that some graft was the price of doing business in poor countries. Starting in 1996, however, former World Bank President James Wolfensohn focused more attention on the issue, as did his successor, Paul Wolfowitz, who held up loans to some poor countries because of concerns about corruption. That led to charges that the bank was enforcing corruption rules selectively.

After Mr. Wolfowitz came under fire earlier for showing favoritism to his girlfriend, a bank employee, some developing nations dismissed the bank's efforts as hypocritical. Mr. Wolfowitz resigned in 2007 and the World Bank's current president, Robert Zoellick , has been trying to depoliticize the corruption issue, especially by beefing up the Department of Institutional Integrity, the main antifraud unit at the bank.

Reviews of other institutions have also turned up designations of "material weakness." A U.S. Treasury "accountability report" for the year ended Sept. 30, 2008, for instance, found four such designations, including three involving the Internal Revenue Service's modernization, computer security and accounting, and one involving government-wide financial statements.

Bob Jensen's threads on World Bank Fraud are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm#WorldBank

 


Question
Why would four universities (Carnegie-Mellon, Pittsburgh, Bowling Green, and Ohio Northern) invest hundreds of millions dollars in a fraudulent investment fund and what makes this fraud different from the Madoff and Stanford fund scandals?

One of the reasons is that the fraudulent Westridge Capital Management Fund was audited by the reputable Big Four firm of Deloitte. It seems to be Auditing 101 to verify that securities investments actually exist and have not be siphoned off illegally. Purportedly, Paul R. Greenwood and Stephen Walsh siphoned off hundreds of millions to fund their lavish personal lifestyles

Koch recently told state lawmakers that Iowa officials believed they had "covered the bases" but that "obviously, something went wrong." He and Cochrane, in an interview, said that there was no apparent problem with Westridge that would raise concerns. Numerous government regulatory agencies had audited the company and the venerable Deloitte and Touche firm was Westridge's auditor. The company's investment returns did not raise suspicion because they generally followed market trends: The firm gained and lost money when the rest of the market did.
Stephen C. Fehr, "Iowa, N.D. victims of investment fraud," McClatchy-Tribune News Service, March 16, 2009 ---
http://www.individual.com/story.php?story=97917687

As with the investors who lost $65 billion in the Madoff Fund, word of mouth from respected people and institutions seem to weigh more than factual analysis for countless investors? Rabbi Ragan says a good man runs this fund? If Carnegie-Mellon's investing in it it most be safe? Yeah Right!
Various other investors and investment funds allegedly lost millions in the Greenwood-Walsh Fund Fraud ---
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/26/business/26scam.html?scp=1&sq=paul greenwood&st=cse
The Pennsylvania Employees’ Retirement System  was saved in the nick of time from investing nearly a billion dollars in the fund upon discovering that the National Futures Association began an investigation of the Greenwood-Walsh Fund. For other duped investors it was too late.

But in some cases the auditing firm is reputable and has deep pockets.

"A 4th University Is Missing Money in Alleged $554-Million Swindle," by Paul Fain, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 19, 2009 --- Click Here

Ohio Northern University is the fourth higher-education institution to announce that it is seeking to recoup money in an alleged $554-million investment fraud, university officials said today. Ohio Northern’s endowment had $10-million invested with two Wall Street veterans who face criminal charges for allegedly using investors’ money as a “personal piggy bank,” spending at least $160-million on mansions, horses, rare books, and collectible toys.

Also tied up in the apparent swindle is $65-million from the University of Pittsburgh, $49-million from Carnegie Mellon University, and $15-million from Bowling Green State University. Securities lawyers say little value from the original investments will be recovered. Officials from all of the universities say the potential losses will have no immediate impact on their operations.

Most college endowments rely on outside investment consultants to help direct their money. Hartland & Company, a financial firm in Cleveland, steered the now-missing investments by Ohio Northern and Bowling Green to the firm running the allegedly-fraudulent scheme. Pitt and Carnegie Mellon relied on the advice of Wilshire Associates, a major California-based consulting firm.

Paul R. Greenwood and Stephen Walsh, the two Wall Street traders who owned the suspect firm, face charges of securities fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy. Federal regulators have also sued the men, and are pursuing their assets.

"Pitt, CMU money managers arrested in fraud FBI says they misappropriated $500 million for lavish lifestyles," by Jonathon Silver, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 26, 2009 --- http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09057/951834-85.stm

Two East Coast investment managers sued for fraud by the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University misappropriated more than $500 million of investors' money to hide losses and fund a lavish lifestyle that included purchases of $80,000 collectible teddy bears, horses and rare books, federal authorities said yesterday.

As Pitt and Carnegie Mellon were busy trying to learn whether they will be able to recover any of their combined $114 million in investments through Westridge Capital Management, the FBI yesterday arrested the corporations' managers.

Paul Greenwood, 61, of North Salem, N.Y., and Stephen Walsh, 64, of Sands Point, N.Y., were charged in Manhattan -- by the same office prosecuting the Bernard L. Madoff fraud case -- with securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy.

Both men also were sued in civil court by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which alleged that the partners misappropriated more than $553 million and "fraudulently solicited" $1.3 billion from investors since 1996.

The Accused

Paul Greenwood and Stephen Walsh are accused of misappropriating millions from investors. Here is a look at some of their biggest personal purchases:

• HOME: Mr. Greenwood, a horse breeder, owned a horse farm in North Salem, N.Y., an affluent community that counts David Letterman as a resident.

• BEARS: Mr. Greenwood owns as many as 1,350 Steiff toys, including teddy bears costing as much as $80,000.

• DIVORCE: Mr. Walsh bought his ex-wife a $3 million condominium as part of their divorce settlement.

"This is huge," said David Rosenfeld, associate regional director of the SEC's New York Regional Office. "This is a truly egregious fraud of immense proportions."

Lawyers for the defendants either could not be reached or had no comment.

Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Walsh, longtime associates and former co-owners of the New York Islanders hockey team, ran Westridge Capital Management and a number of affiliated funds and entities.

As late as this month, the partners appeared to be doing well. Mr. Greenwood told Pitt's assistant treasurer Jan. 21 that they had $2.8 billion under management -- though that number is now in question. And on Feb. 2, Pitt sent $5 million to be invested.

But in the course of less than three weeks, Westridge's mammoth portfolio imploded in what federal authorities called an investment scam meant to cover up trading losses and fund extravagant purchases by the partners.

An audit launched Feb. 5 by the National Futures Association proved key to uncovering the alleged deceit and apparently became the linchpin of the case federal prosecutors are building.

That audit came about in an indirect way. The association, a self-policing membership body, had taken action against a New York financier. That led to a man named Jack Reynolds, a manager of the Westridge Capital Management Fund in which CMU invested $49 million; and Mr. Reynolds led to Westridge.

"We just said we better take a look at Jack Reynolds and see what's happening, and that led us to Westridge and WCM, so it was a domino effect," said Larry Dyekman, an association spokesman. "We're just not sure we have the full picture yet."

Mr. Reynolds has not been charged by federal authorities, but he is named as a defendant in the lawsuit that was filed last week by Pitt and CMU.

"Greenwood and Walsh refused to answer any of our questions about where the money was or how much there was," Mr. Dyekman continued.

"This is still an ongoing investigation, and we can't really say at this point with any finality how much has been lost."

The federal criminal complaint traces the alleged illegal activity to at least 1996.

FBI Special Agent James C. Barnacle Jr. said Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Walsh used "manipulative and deceptive devices," lied and withheld information as part of a scheme to defraud investors and enrich themselves.

The complaint refers to a public state-sponsored university called "Investor 1" whose details match those given by Pitt in its lawsuit.

The SEC's Mr. Rosenfeld said the fraud hinged not so much on the partners' investment strategy but on the fact that they are believed to have simply spent other people's money on themselves.

"They took it. They promised the investors it would be invested. And instead of doing that they misappropriated it for their own use," Mr. Rosenfeld said.

Not only do federal authorities believe Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Walsh used new investors' funds to cover up prior losses in a classic Ponzi scheme, they used more than $160 million for personal expenses including:

• Rare books bought at auction;

• Steiff teddy bears purchased for up to $80,000 at auction houses including Sotheby's;

• A horse farm;

• Cars;

• A residence for Mr. Walsh's ex-wife, Janet Walsh, 53, of Florida, for at least $3 million;

• Money for Ms. Walsh and Mr. Greenwood's wife, Robin Greenwood, 57, both of whom are defendants in the SEC suit. More than $2 million was allegedly wired to their personal accounts by an unnamed employee of the partners.

"Defendants treated investor money -- some of which came from a public pension fund -- as their own piggy bank to lavish themselves with expensive gifts," said Stephen J. Obie, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's acting director of enforcement.

It is not clear how Pitt and CMU got involved with Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Walsh. But there is at least one connection involving academia. The commission suit said Mr. Walsh represented to potential investors that he was a member of the University at Buffalo Foundation board and served on its investment committee.

Mr. Walsh is a 1966 graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo where he majored in political science.

He was a trustee of the University at Buffalo Foundation, but the foundation did not have any investments in Westridge or related firms.

Universities, charitable organizations, retirement and pension funds are among the investors who have done business with Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Walsh.

Among those investors are the Sacramento County Employees' Retirement System, the Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System and the North Dakota Retirement and Investment Office, which handles $4 billion in investments for teachers and public employees.

The North Dakota fund received about $20 million back from Westridge Capital Management, but has an undetermined amount still out in the market, said Steve Cochrane, executive director.

Mr. Cochrane said Westridge Capital was cooperative in returning what money it could by closing out their position and sending them the money.

"I dealt with them exclusively all these years," Mr. Cochrane said.

"They always seemed to be upfront and honest. I think they're as stunned and as victimized as we are, is my guess."

He said Westridge Capital had done an excellent job over the years.

The November financial statement indicated that the one-year return from Westridge Capital was a negative 11.87 percent, but the five-year annualized rate of return was a positive 8.36 percent.

 

According to Bloomberg, Carnegie-Mellon University received audited financial statements and relied heavily on the certification from Deloitte --- http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=abOuQYqKtndc&refer=home
Actually, CMU’s consulting firm (Wilshire) claims it relied on that Deloitte certification:

******Begin Quotation
“It said all clients received audited financial results from Deloitte & Touche, and custodial statements from trustee banks showing Westridge’s trading. Carnegie Mellon hires consultants to provide expertise and perform substantial due diligence, said Ken Walters a spokesman for the school. “In this case, this investment was “highly recommended” to the university by Wilshire, he said. He declined to comment further on the consultant.”
******End Quotation

Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

Bob Jensen's Rotten to the Core threads are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm

Deloitte is getting deeper and deeper into new lawsuits, one of which is the huge Washington Mutual (WaMu) failed bank lawsuit --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm#Auditors


Charles Ponzi (1882-1949) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Ponzi
Ponzi Frauds --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzi_game

Bernard Madoff --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madoff

"How Bernie Madoff did it:  Madoff is behind bars and isn't talking. But a Fortune investigation uncovers secrets of his massive swindle," by James Bandler, Nicholas Varchaver and Doris Burke, CNN Money, April 24, 2009 ---
http://money.cnn.com/2009/04/24/news/newsmakers/madoff.brief.fortune/index.htm?cnn=yes

Since Bernard Madoff was arrested in December and confessed to masterminding a multi-billion Ponzi scheme, countless people have wondered: Who else was involved? Who knew about the fraud? After all, Madoff not only engineered an epic swindle, he insisted to the FBI that he did it all by himself. To date, Madoff has not implicated anybody but himself.

But the contours of the case are changing.

Fortune has learned that Frank DiPascali, the chief lieutenant in Madoff's secretive investment business, is trying to negotiate a plea deal with federal prosecutors. In exchange for a reduced sentence, he would divulge his encyclopedic knowledge of Madoff's scheme. And unlike his boss, DiPascali is willing to name names.

According to a person familiar with the matter, DiPascali has no evidence that other Madoff family members were participants in the fraud. However, he is prepared to testify that he manipulated phony returns on behalf of some key Madoff investors, including Frank Avellino, who used to run a so-called feeder fund, Jeffry Picower, whose foundation had to close as a result of Madoff-related losses, and others.

If, for example, one of these special customers had large gains on other investments, he would tell DiPascali, who would fabricate a loss to reduce the tax bill. If true, that would mean these investors knew their returns were fishy.

Explains the source familiar with the matter: "This is a group of inside investors -- all individuals with very, very high net worths who, hypothetically speaking, received a 20% markup or 25% markup or a 15% loss if they needed it." The investors would tell DiPascali, for example, that their other investments had soared and they needed to find some losses to cut their tax bills. DiPascali would adjust their Madoff results accordingly.

(Gary Woodfield, a lawyer for Avellino, and William Zabel, the attorney for Picower, both declined to comment. Marc Mukasey, DiPascali's laywer, says, "We expect and encourage a thorough investigation.")

Inside the Madoff swindle: Read the full story --- http://money.cnn.com/2009/04/24/news/newsmakers/madoff.fortune/index.htm

These special deals for select Madoff investors have become a key focus for federal prosecutors, according to this source and a second one familiar with the investigation. The second source describes the arrangements as "kickbacks" and "bonuses." A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney declined to comment.

But a little-noticed line in a public filing by the prosecutors in March supports at least part of these sources' account. The document that formally charged Madoff with his crimes asserted that he "promised certain clients annual returns in varying amounts up to at least approximately 46 percent per year." That was quite a boost when most investors were receiving 10% to 15%. It appears to reflect the benefits that accrued to those who helped bring large sums to Madoff.

The emergence of this potential star witness is the best news to surface publicly for the Madoff family since the case began. DiPascali has every incentive to implicate high-profile names to save his skin -- and nobody is more under scrutiny than the Madoffs, many of whom worked for the firm. (Representatives for all of the family members have asserted their innocence.) It should be noted that DiPascali is not in a position to say what the Madoffs knew -- this should not be construed as an exoneration. But the fact that a high-ranking participant in the investment operation is not implicating them is telling.

The DiPascali revelations are part of a special Fortune investigation into the inner workings of Madoff's firm. It chronicles Madoff's rise -- how he started his firm in 1960 with only $200, rose to become a pioneer of electronic trading, and became notorious for his investment operation -- a strange, secretive world supervised by DiPascali.

DiPascali was a 33-year veteran of Madoff's firm. A high school graduate with a Queens accent, he came to work in an incongruously starched version of a slacker's uniform: pressed jeans, a sweatshirt, and pristine white sneakers or boat shoes. He could often be found outside the building, smoking a cigarette.

Nobody was quite sure what he did or what his title was. "He was like a ninja," says a former trader in the legitimate operation upstairs. "Everyone knew he was a big deal, but he was like a shadow."

He may not have looked or acted like a financier, but when customers like the giant feeder fund Fairfield Greenwich came in to talk, DiPascali was usually the only Madoff employee in the room with Bernie. Madoff told the visitors that DiPascali was "primarily responsible" for the investment operation, according to a Fairfield memo.

And now DiPascali may be primarily responsible for taking the ever-surprising Madoff case in yet another unexpected direction

Bernard Madoff, former Nasdaq Stock Market chairman and founder of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, was arrested and charged with securities fraud Thursday in what federal prosecutors called a Ponzi scheme that could involve losses of more than $64 billion.

It is bigger than Enron, bigger than Boesky and bigger than Tyco

"Madoff Scandal: 'Biggest Story of the Year'," Seeking Alpha, December 12, 2008 ---
http://seekingalpha.com/article/110402-madoff-scandal-biggest-story-of-the-year?source=wildcard

According to RealMoney.com columnist Doug Kass, general partner and investment manager of hedge fund Seabreeze Partners Short LP and Seabreeze Partners Short Offshore Fund, Ltd., today's late-breaking report of an alleged massive fraud at a well known investment firm could be "the biggest story of the year." In his view,

it is bigger than Enron, bigger than Boesky and bigger than Tyco.
It attacks at the core of investor confidence -- because, if true, and this could happen ... investors might think that almost anything imaginable could happen to the money they have entrusted to their f
iduciaries.

Here are some excerpts from the Bloomberg report, entitled "Madoff Charged in $50 Billion Fraud at Advisory Firm":

Bernard Madoff, founder and president of Bernard Madoff Investment Securities, a market-maker for hedge funds and banks, was charged by federal prosecutors in a $50 billion fraud at his advisory business.

Madoff, 70, was arrested today at 8:30 a.m. by the FBI and appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas Eaton in Manhattan federal court. Charged in a criminal complaint with a single count of securities fraud, he was granted release on a $10 million bond guaranteed by his wife and secured by his apartment. Madoff’s wife was present in the courtroom.

"It’s all just one big lie," Madoff told his employees on Dec. 10, according to a statement by prosecutors. The firm, Madoff allegedly said, is "basically, a giant Ponzi scheme." He was also sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Madoff’s New York-based firm was the 23rd largest market maker on Nasdaq in October, handling a daily average of about 50 million shares a day, exchange data show. The firm specialized in handling orders from online brokers in some of the largest U.S. companies, including General Electric Co (GE). and Citigroup Inc. (C).

...

SEC Complaint

The SEC in its complaint, also filed today in Manhattan federal court, accused Madoff of a "multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme that he perpetrated on advisory clients of his firm."

The SEC said it’s seeking emergency relief for investors, including an asset freeze and the appointment of a receiver for the firm. Ira Sorkin, another defense lawyer for Madoff, couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

...

Madoff, who owned more than 75 percent of his firm, and his brother Peter are the only two individuals listed on regulatory records as "direct owners and executive officers."

Peter Madoff was a board member of the St. Louis brokerage firm A.G. Edwards Inc. from 2001 through last year, when it was sold to Wachovia Corp (WB).

$17.1 Billion

The Madoff firm had about $17.1 billion in assets under management as of Nov. 17, according to NASD records. At least 50 percent of its clients were hedge funds, and others included banks and wealthy individuals, according to the records.

...

Madoff’s Web site advertises the "high ethical standards" of the firm.

"In an era of faceless organizations owned by other equally faceless organizations, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC harks back to an earlier era in the financial world: The owner’s name is on the door," according to the Web site. "Clients know that Bernard Madoff has a personal interest in maintaining the unblemished record of value, fair-dealing, and high ethical standards that has always been the firm’s hallmark."

...

"These guys were one of the original, if not the original, third market makers," said Joseph Saluzzi, the co-head of equity trading at Themis Trading LLC in Chatham, New Jersey. "They had a great business and they were good with their clients. They were around for a long time. He’s a well-respected guy in the industry."

The case is U.S. v. Madoff, 08-MAG-02735, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan)

Continued in article

And here is the SEC press release

Also see http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/securities/

What was the auditing firm of Bernard Madoff Investment Securities, the auditor who gave a clean opinion, that's been insolvent for years?
Apparently, Mr Madoff said the business had been insolvent for years and, from having $17 billion of assets under management at the beginning of 2008, the SEC said: “It appears that virtually all assets of the advisory business are gone”. It has now emerged that Friehling & Horowitz, the auditor that signed off the annual financial statement for the investment advisory business for 2006, is under investigation by the district attorney in New York’s Rockland County, a northern suburb of New York City.
"The $50bn scam: How Bernard Madoff allegedly cheated investors," London Times, December 15, 2008 ---
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/banking_and_finance/article5345751.ece

It was at the Manhattan apartment that Mr Madoff apparently confessed that the business was in fact a “giant Ponzi scheme” and that the firm had been insolvent for years.

To cap it all, Mr Madoff told his sons he was going to give himself up, but only after giving out the $200 - $300 million money he had left to “employees, family and friends”.

All the company’s remaining assets have now been frozen in the hope of repaying some of the companies, individuals and charities that have been unfortunate enough to invest in the business.

However, with the fraud believed to exceed $50 billion, whatever recompense investors could receive will be a drop in the ocean.

Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm


Where were the auditors?
What surprised me is the size of this alleged fraud
"This is huge," said David Rosenfeld, associate regional director of the SEC's New York Regional Office.
"This is a truly egregious fraud of immense proportions."

"Carnegie Mellon and Pitt Accuse 2 Investment Managers of $114-Million Fraud," by Scott Carlson, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 26, 2009 --- Click Here

The University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University are suing two investment managers who allegedly took $114-million from the institutions and spent it on cars, horses, houses for their wives, and even teddy bears.

The two managers, Paul Greenwood and Stephen Walsh, are said to have taken a total of more than $500-million from the universities and other investors through their company, Westridge Capital Management, and they have also been charged with fraud by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The universities named several associates of Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Walsh in the lawsuit.

According to the complaint, the universities became alarmed after the National Futures Association, a nonprofit organization that investigates member firms, tried to audit Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Walsh’s company. The association determined that that Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Walsh had taken hundreds of millions in loans from the investment funds. On February 12 the association suspended their membership after repeatedly trying, and failing, to contact them.

That step spurred the universities to try to locate their money. On February 18 they contacted the Securities and Exchange Commission and sought an investigation. According to their lawsuit, Carnegie Mellon had invested $49-million and the University of Pittsburgh had invested $65-million.

Today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette listed some of the things that Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Walsh had purchased with their investors’ money: rare books, Steiff teddy bears at up to $80,000 each, a horse farm, cars, and a $3-million residence for Mr. Walsh’s ex-wife.

Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Walsh were also handling money for retirement funds for teachers and public employees in Iowa, North Dakota, and Sacramento County, California. In the Post-Gazette, David Rosenfeld, an associate regional director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office, said the case represented “a truly egregious fraud of immense proportions.”

Mr. Walsh, it appears, had ties to another university as well. He is a member of the foundation board at the State University of New York at Buffalo, from which he graduated in 1966 with a political-science degree. In a written statement, officials at Buffalo said that he had not been an active board member for the past two years and that foundation policy forbade investing university money with any member of the board.

"Pitt, CMU money managers arrested in fraud FBI says they misappropriated $500 million for lavish lifestyles," by Jonathon Silver, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 26, 2009 --- http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09057/951834-85.stm

Two East Coast investment managers sued for fraud by the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University misappropriated more than $500 million of investors' money to hide losses and fund a lavish lifestyle that included purchases of $80,000 collectible teddy bears, horses and rare books, federal authorities said yesterday.

As Pitt and Carnegie Mellon were busy trying to learn whether they will be able to recover any of their combined $114 million in investments through Westridge Capital Management, the FBI yesterday arrested the corporations' managers.

Paul Greenwood, 61, of North Salem, N.Y., and Stephen Walsh, 64, of Sands Point, N.Y., were charged in Manhattan -- by the same office prosecuting the Bernard L. Madoff fraud case -- with securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy.

Both men also were sued in civil court by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which alleged that the partners misappropriated more than $553 million and "fraudulently solicited" $1.3 billion from investors since 1996.

The Accused

Paul Greenwood and Stephen Walsh are accused of misappropriating millions from investors. Here is a look at some of their biggest personal purchases:

• HOME: Mr. Greenwood, a horse breeder, owned a horse farm in North Salem, N.Y., an affluent community that counts David Letterman as a resident.

• BEARS: Mr. Greenwood owns as many as 1,350 Steiff toys, including teddy bears costing as much as $80,000.

• DIVORCE: Mr. Walsh bought his ex-wife a $3 million condominium as part of their divorce settlement.

"This is huge," said David Rosenfeld, associate regional director of the SEC's New York Regional Office. "This is a truly egregious fraud of immense proportions."

Lawyers for the defendants either could not be reached or had no comment.

Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Walsh, longtime associates and former co-owners of the New York Islanders hockey team, ran Westridge Capital Management and a number of affiliated funds and entities.

As late as this month, the partners appeared to be doing well. Mr. Greenwood told Pitt's assistant treasurer Jan. 21 that they had $2.8 billion under management -- though that number is now in question. And on Feb. 2, Pitt sent $5 million to be invested.

But in the course of less than three weeks, Westridge's mammoth portfolio imploded in what federal authorities called an investment scam meant to cover up trading losses and fund extravagant purchases by the partners.

An audit launched Feb. 5 by the National Futures Association proved key to uncovering the alleged deceit and apparently became the linchpin of the case federal prosecutors are building.

That audit came about in an indirect way. The association, a self-policing membership body, had taken action against a New York financier. That led to a man named Jack Reynolds, a manager of the Westridge Capital Management Fund in which CMU invested $49 million; and Mr. Reynolds led to Westridge.

"We just said we better take a look at Jack Reynolds and see what's happening, and that led us to Westridge and WCM, so it was a domino effect," said Larry Dyekman, an association spokesman. "We're just not sure we have the full picture yet."

Mr. Reynolds has not been charged by federal authorities, but he is named as a defendant in the lawsuit that was filed last week by Pitt and CMU.

"Greenwood and Walsh refused to answer any of our questions about where the money was or how much there was," Mr. Dyekman continued.

"This is still an ongoing investigation, and we can't really say at this point with any finality how much has been lost."

The federal criminal complaint traces the alleged illegal activity to at least 1996.

FBI Special Agent James C. Barnacle Jr. said Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Walsh used "manipulative and deceptive devices," lied and withheld information as part of a scheme to defraud investors and enrich themselves.

The complaint refers to a public state-sponsored university called "Investor 1" whose details match those given by Pitt in its lawsuit.

The SEC's Mr. Rosenfeld said the fraud hinged not so much on the partners' investment strategy but on the fact that they are believed to have simply spent other people's money on themselves.

"They took it. They promised the investors it would be invested. And instead of doing that they misappropriated it for their own use," Mr. Rosenfeld said.

Not only do federal authorities believe Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Walsh used new investors' funds to cover up prior losses in a classic Ponzi scheme, they used more than $160 million for personal expenses including:

• Rare books bought at auction;

• Steiff teddy bears purchased for up to $80,000 at auction houses including Sotheby's;

• A horse farm;

• Cars;

• A residence for Mr. Walsh's ex-wife, Janet Walsh, 53, of Florida, for at least $3 million;

• Money for Ms. Walsh and Mr. Greenwood's wife, Robin Greenwood, 57, both of whom are defendants in the SEC suit. More than $2 million was allegedly wired to their personal accounts by an unnamed employee of the partners.

"Defendants treated investor money -- some of which came from a public pension fund -- as their own piggy bank to lavish themselves with expensive gifts," said Stephen J. Obie, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's acting director of enforcement.

It is not clear how Pitt and CMU got involved with Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Walsh. But there is at least one connection involving academia. The commission suit said Mr. Walsh represented to potential investors that he was a member of the University at Buffalo Foundation board and served on its investment committee.

Mr. Walsh is a 1966 graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo where he majored in political science.

He was a trustee of the University at Buffalo Foundation, but the foundation did not have any investments in Westridge or related firms.

Universities, charitable organizations, retirement and pension funds are among the investors who have done business with Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Walsh.

Among those investors are the Sacramento County Employees' Retirement System, the Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System and the North Dakota Retirement and Investment Office, which handles $4 billion in investments for teachers and public employees.

The North Dakota fund received about $20 million back from Westridge Capital Management, but has an undetermined amount still out in the market, said Steve Cochrane, executive director.

Mr. Cochrane said Westridge Capital was cooperative in returning what money it could by closing out their position and sending them the money.

"I dealt with them exclusively all these years," Mr. Cochrane said.

"They always seemed to be upfront and honest. I think they're as stunned and as victimized as we are, is my guess."

He said Westridge Capital had done an excellent job over the years.

The November financial statement indicated that the one-year return from Westridge Capital was a negative 11.87 percent, but the five-year annualized rate of return was a positive 8.36 percent.

Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

Bob Jensen's Rotten to the Core threads are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm


Bernard Madoff's Gangster Family Seems to Have Been Overlooked by Investors

"Pretty v. Ugly at the University," University Diaries Blog, Inside Higher Ed, February 24, 2009 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/university_diaries

Bernard Madoff is a classic Mafia-style gangster. He comes from gangsters - his mother was a crook. Investigators are looking into his father-in-law. A lot of his friends and investors are crooks. He was born a crook, has always been a crook.

"The FBI believes Madoff may never have properly invested any of the money entrusted to him," writes Stephen Foley in The Independent. That's <em>never</em>. Madoff is in his seventies.

Psychopathically evil, Madoff makes an exception - again, Mafia-style - for his closest family and friends. His last act before turning himself in was writing big checks to the inner circle.

Tomorrow, Harry Markopolos will tell Congress how easy it was, ten years ago, for him to prove that Madoff was a crook, and how difficult it was for him to convince the SEC, or anyone else, of this obvious truth.

An ugly story, isn't it.... Ugh. Let us turn to the verdant paths of Brandeis University, and walk to the door of its art museum, where pretty canvases hang on the walls and rekindle our sense of the beauty of the world and the goodness of mankind.

Yet all of this beauty will soon be shuttered, because that ugly world is all over Brandeis. It's all over a number of other universities, too -- Yeshiva, Bard, NYU, all the schools who loved charitable Bernie Madoff and his charitable friends.

Madoff, after all, was a philanthropist.

Not that he, as the word suggests, loves people. He hates people.

But he (and benefactors like Carl Shapiro, his closest business associate) gave lots of money to pretty places like universities, places that stand for love, not hate, and beauty, not ugliness. Why did he do that?

For the same reason many other crooks do it. To get their names on buildings, and, much more importantly, to launder their images. Madoff's been cleaning himself up for public consumption all his life, and there's nothing like gifts to universities to do oneself up <em>real</em> good.

University Diaries has covered, over the years, many amusing stories of universities using the latest in stone-blasting technology to get the names of crooks off of buildings the crooks endowed. At any given time, some university in this country is using power tools on its walls in a desperate effort to dissociate itself from scum. Here's the latest case. One of the most amusing was Dennis Kozlowski at Seton Hall.

Even if it doesn't call for power tools, the problem of taking crooks' money can be just as troublesome, as with the University of Missouri-Columbia's Kenneth L. Lay Chair in International Economics.

Sometimes things call for quick-action internet prowess. Recall how, deep in the pre-exposure night, Yeshiva University deleted from its webpages the once-sainted names of Bernard Madoff and his partner, Ezra Merkin.

Our wretched economy will continue to reveal the reputation-laundering enterprise some of our universities have been running.

Just as every Madoff associate or victim claims to be a deceived innocent, so these campuses will tell us they never suspected a thing.

The farce would be fun to watch if it weren't so incredibly destructive.

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on security frauds are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm

 

 





  • Accounting and finance professors should use this video every semester in class!
    The best explanation ever of the sub-prime (meaning lending to borrowers with much less than prime credit ratings) mortgage greed and fraud.
    The best explanation ever about securitized financial instruments and worldwide banding frauds using such instruments.
    The best explanation ever about how greedy employees will cheat on their employers and their customers.

    "House Of Cards: The Mortgage Mess Steve Kroft Reports How The Mortgage Meltdown Is Shaking Markets Worldwide," Sixty Minutes Television on CBS, January 27, 2008 --- http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/01/25/60minutes/main3752515.shtml
    For a few days the video may be available free.
    The transcript will probably be available for a longer period of time.

    Bob Jensen's "Rotten to the Core" threads are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm





    Other Links
    Main Document on the accounting, finance, and business scandals --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud.htm 

    Bob Jensen's Enron Quiz --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnronQuiz.htm

    Bob Jensen's threads on professionalism and independence are at  file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/dbowling/Local%20Settings/Temporary%20Internet%20Files/OLK36/FraudUpdates.htm#Professionalism 

    Bob Jensen's threads on pro forma frauds are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen//theory/00overview/theory01.htm#ProForma 

    Bob Jensen's threads on ethics and accounting education are at 
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudProposedReforms.htm#AccountingEducation

    The Saga of Auditor Professionalism and Independence ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud001.htm#Professionalism
     

    Incompetent and Corrupt Audits are Routine ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudConclusion.htm#IncompetentAudits

    Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory.htm 

    Future of Auditing --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudConclusion.htm#FutureOfAuditing 

     

     


     

    The Consumer Fraud Portion of this Document Was Moved to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm 

     

     

     

     

    Bob Jensen's home page is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/