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    Finanical Frauds

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    Need 500 words - 100 words per each case with references/citation

    1 John Markov runs a family-owned department store in St. Louis. The store consists of nine different departments, each with its own department manager. Store hours are Monday through Saturday from 10:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M., and from noon until 5:00 P.M. on Sunday. Each department has its own cash register, and two salespersons are assigned to each register. To prevent any confusion, each salesperson must enter his or her own secret code with each transaction. At the end of each day, the sales manager in each department tallies the department's register, collects the money (cash and checks) from the register, and prepares a transmittal slip for the general manager to review and sign. The general manager then double-checks the Cash count before signing the transmittal slips. After collecting all cash receipts from all departments, the general manager prepares a daily cash sales report and sends it to the store's finance manager. The finance manager again counts the money and signs three copies of the daily cash sales report. She keeps one copy for herself, a second copy goes to the store accountant, and the last copy goes to the store manager. The finance manager then puts all of the cash into the company safe, where it stays until the next morning when it is picked up by an armored car service. The store accountant reconciles copies of cash sales reports with bank deposit slips and with credits on the monthly bank statement. John has a close relationship with the bank, so he is always called first when there is any kind of issue or problem. He just received a call from one of the bank's customer service representatives who suggested that he look into some customer checks that had recently bounced. The bank representative said that some of the payer names on the checks had come up in bad checks written to a number of other local businesses. "You have an insider working against you," said the bank employee. "This is happening all over town, and I heard a police investigator say that there's always an insider involved."
    a. What possible check fraud schemes might the company be a victim of?
    b. Given the store's procedures for processing cash receipts, which persons in the store are in a position to participate in a check fraud scheme?

    2. Mary Milken is the CFO of the Rbeck Company in Miami, Florida. The company is a closely held custom yacht builder with about 200 technical workers (engineers, marine architects, mechanics, boat workers, and so on), and 12 employees in its main office staff. Her primary job is to prepare the financial statements with the assistance of two full-time accountants. She normally follows generally accepted accounting principles, but she sometimes ignores them when she thinks they do not lead to what she considers best practices for the small number of her company's shareholders. In the previous decade, the company was owned by three sisters, each of whom served on the board of directors. One of the three, Vanessa Rbeck, served as the CEO during that period. The other two have always deferred to her with respect to her operational management decisions. Only a month ago, however, Vanessa's sisters were killed when their private plane crashed enroute to the Bahamas, which they frequently visited on weekends for relaxation. Upon their death, all of their shares in the Rbeck company transferred to a single trustee in one of the large South Florida banks. Each sister had held her shares in revocable living trusts with the same bank named as successor trustee. As soon as the funerals were over, Mary and Vanessa met with the trustee, Annie Crusher. The meeting did not go well. Annie had grown up working in a family-owned retail boat business, and she thought her knowledge of the industry transferred to the yacht-building business. She began asking Vanessa a rapid succession of unfriendly questions in an adversarial tone of voice. Her questions strongly implied that a yacht- building business did not belong in South Florida but offshore where labor is cheaper. After the meeting, both Mary and Vanessa became afraid that Annie would do some- thing crazy like fire them both or liquidate the business. For the previous five years, Rbeck's stock had sold for a steady $12 per share, with $8 per share in dividends. Vanessa received a good salary, but she depended on the dividends to send her children to private schools and to pay the large mortgage on her waterfront home in South Beach. She immediately realized that she was now at Annie's mercy; she could easily cut off Vanessa's dividends, lower her salary, or put her out of work. To make things worse, Mary was almost finished with the most recent annual report, and it appeared that earnings were down for the first time ever. Her preliminary calculations showed earnings per share somewhere near $8. The problem with earnings had been caused by large bad debts from three clients who had been arrested for drug trafficking. Rbeck had entirely financed luxury yachts for the three clients because of their excellent credit history and prominence in the business community. However, the federal government seized all of the clients' assets, leaving nothing for Rbeck but the three half-built yachts. After thinking things over, Vanessa asked Mary to find a way to avoid having to report lower earnings because of her concern as to how Annie might respond to the decline in earnings. Mary considered various options:

    Increase the estimated percentage of completion on all yachts in work-in-process inventory by 15 percent. This would wipe out most of the loss. Work in process estimates have always been very conservative anyway.
    Recognize revenue on the three yachts in default. It would be very difficult to sell them at a good price, but she could always argue that they could be sold if she could keep a straight face. The best strategy would be to find new buyers for them, but that could take a couple of years.
    Switch to mark-to-market accounting for some of the yachts in progress so the company could recognize all of the profit when contracts with other clients are signed.
    a. Is any option that Mary is considering acceptable under generally accepted accounting principles? Why or why not?
    b. Do any of the options being considered by Mary constitute financial statements fraud?
    c. How would you handle the entire situation if you were in Mary's shoes?

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    Solution Preview

    In compliance with BrainMass rules, this is not a hand in ready assignment but is only guidance.

    a. The check fraud scheme that the company is already a victim of is the situation where the check given by a customer bounces. The fraud scheme is that a criminal opens a checking account with false identification and pays by check to several local businesses including the store of John Markov. Since the account does not have much money in it, the checks bounce. The account was opened with false identification, so no action can be taken against the issuer of bounced checks. The bank representative has cautioned John that he has an insider working against him. The point is that when bad checks had been written to several businesses and the names of the payers were known to the cash staff then checks with those payer names should not be accepted by the staff of John's store. Also, once a payer's check bounces, this fact is known to all employees and they should never accept checks from those payers. Now the fraud in John's departmental store is that some employees knowingly accept checks from payers who are known to be frauds. John's departmental store loses money when these checks bounce (1). The employee who accepted the checks receives a part of the money from the criminal.
    There are several check fraud schemes the store maybe a victim of. When the sales person receives checks and cash for a transaction, the sales person may not enter some transactions; remove the checks and cash the check in false checking accounts. When the sales manager tallies the department's register he can remove some entries from the register and some checks. He can cash the checks in false checking accounts. Similarly, the general manager can either change the transmittal slip or can prepare a new transmittal slip after removing some checks. The daily cash report will not contain details of the checks removed. In the same manner, the finance manager can change the cash sales report or can prepare another cash sales report. She can remove some checks and these checks will not appear in the cash sales report. The ...

    Solution Summary

    The answer to this problem explains two cases relating to check fraud, and financial statements fraud. The references related to the answer are also included.