Richard was a licensed respiratory therapist, and I was a certified public accountant.
Chances are you were never called on it, because your The healthsouth debacle trusted you. Just as we trust our friends, we put faith in the investing world.
Investing in a stock takes a lot of research, but it also requires us to make a lot of assumptions. For example, we assume reported earnings and revenue figures are correct, and that management is competent and honest, but these assumptions can be disastrous.
Online Investment Scams Understanding how disasters happened in the past, can help investors avoid them in the future. With that in mind, we'll look at some of the all-time greatest cases of companies betraying their investors.
Some of these cases are truly amazing; try to look at them from a shareholder 's standpoint.
Unfortunately, these shareholders had no way of knowing what was really happening, as they were being tricked into investing. He created more than 10, phony documents and sales receipts, without anybody suspecting anything.
Amazingly, Barry Minkow was only a teenager at the time! He was sentenced to 25 years in prison. However, the company was really shipping fruit baskets to customers.
The employees then created fake documents to appear as though they were recording sales. Over 20, investors lost almost all of their investment in a company that was once considered a Wall Street darling. Bre-X Minerals, This Canadian company was involved in one of the largest stock swindles in history.
Its Indonesian gold property, which was reported to contain more than million ounces, was said to be the richest gold mine, ever. The party ended on March 19,when the gold mine proved to be fraudulent and the stock tumbled to pennies, shortly after.
Enron, Prior to this debacle, Enrona Houston-based energy trading company was, based on revenue, the seventh largest company in the U. Through some fairly complicated accounting practices that involved the use of shell companiesEnron was able to keep hundreds of millions worth of debt off its books.
Doing so fooled investors and analysts into thinking this company was more fundamentally stable, than it actually was. Additionally, the shell companies, run by Enron executives, recorded fictitious revenues, essentially recording one dollar of revenue, multiple times, thus creating the appearance of incredible earnings figures.
As Enron fell, it took down with it Arthur Andersen, the fifth leading accounting firm in the world at the time.
Andersen, Enron's auditorbasically imploded after David Duncan, Enron's chief auditor, ordered the shredding of thousands of documents.
The fiasco at Enron made the phrase " cook the books " a household term, once again. WorldCom, Not long after the collapse of Enron, the equities market was rocked by another billion-dollar accounting scandal.
Telecommunications giant WorldCom came under intense scrutiny after yet another instance of some serious "book cooking. Apparently, the company felt that office pens, pencils and paper were an investment in the future of the company and, therefore, expensed or capitalized the cost of these items over a number of years.
In fact, its business was becoming increasingly unprofitable. Who suffered the most in this deal? The employees; tens of thousands of them lost their jobs.
Tyco International, With WorldCom having already shaken investor confidence, the executives at Tyco ensured that would be an unforgettable year for stocks. Before the scandal, Tyco was considered a safe blue chip investment, manufacturing electronic components, health care and safety equipment.
During his reign as CEO, Dennis Kozlowski, who was reported as one of the top 25 corporate managers by BusinessWeek, siphoned hordes of money from Tyco, in the form of unapproved loans and fraudulent stock sales.
Kozlowski and Belnick arranged to sell 7. These funds were smuggled out of the company, usually disguised as executive bonuses or benefits. The executives escaped their first hearing due to a mistrial, but were eventually convicted and sentenced to 25 years in jail.
HealthSouth, Accounting for large corporations can be a difficult task, especially when your boss instructs you to falsify earnings reports. In the late s, CEO and founder Richard Scrushy began instructing employees to inflate revenues and overstate HealthSouth's net income.
At the time, the company was one of America's largest health care service providers, experiencing rapid growth and acquiring a number of other healthcare-related firms.
An independent law firm concluded the sale was not directly related to the loss, but investors should have taken the warning. Amazingly, the CEO was acquitted of 36 counts of fraud, but was later convicted on charges of bribery.
Bernard Madoff, Making for what could be an awkward Christmas, Bernard Madoffthe former chairman of the Nasdaq and founder of the market-making firm Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, was turned in by his two sons and arrested on Dec. The year-old kept his hedge fund losses hidden, by paying early investors with money raised from others.
The fund's supposed strategy, which was provided as the reason for these consistent returns, was to use proprietary option collars that are meant to minimize volatility.Port Manteaux churns out silly new words when you feed it an idea or two.
Enter a word (or two) above and you'll get back a bunch of portmanteaux created by jamming together words that are conceptually related to your inputs.. For example, enter "giraffe" and you'll get .
HealthSouth is among the nation's largest in rehabilitation hospitals, outpatient surgery and therapy, with 22, employees.
And Beam helped start it all in He spent 14 months in Maxwell Federal Prison Camp for his part in the HealthSouth debacle. Ethics and integrity within business are major topics of discussion for Smith, who uses his background and work experience to teach others about responsible living and work.
HealthSouth debacle, Weston was recruited by a Birmingham-based CPA firm to serve as an independ-ent consultant and controller to key clients.
Weston’s experience and skills were recognized by a Birming-ham business where he served in sales and administration. Jun 29, · A jury in Alabama on Tuesday acquitted Richard Scrushy, the HealthSouth founder, of all counts related to a $ billion accounting fraud at the chain of rehabilitation hospitals.
Shareholders should be realistically allowed to directly select corporate director candidates via the SEC Shareholder Proposal procedure. The days of corporate paternalism should be ended. Corporate governance problems will only be cured when Shareholders can easily remove incompetent/corrupt Directors, i.e., vote them out of office.