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What internal controls might have stopped a Cargill accountant from embezzling $3.1 million?

Cargill, Inc., is the largest privately held corporation in the United States as measured by revenue. According to Wikipedia, if it were a publicly-held corporation, it would rank number 12 on the Fortune 500. In addition to its agricultural business, it also deals in energy, food ingredients, financial services, and a broad array of other […]

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What internal controls might have prevented the $1.4 million kickback fraud scheme at Utz?

Utz Quality Foods Inc., a snack food company based in Hanover, Pennsylvania, was recently the victim of a $1.4 million fraud scheme. Utz’s former director of purchasing acting together with an Utz vendor allegedly ran a false invoice kickback scheme. During the several years over which the fraud allegedly occurred, Jonathan Haas was the owner […]

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What internal controls might have prevented a Sea World guest relations supervisor from voiding tickets and pocketing more than $116,000?

A guest relations supervisor at SeaWorld’s Aquatica waterpark in Orlando, Lisa Olivardia, would void ticket sales and put the cash in white envelopes that she then put in her pocket. Investigators estimate that she stole between $55,000 and $75,000 each year from 2013 – 2015. Her voided transactions were about triple the rate of her […]

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What internal control principles were violated at a Texas school district that allowed its superintendent to embezzle more than $750,000?

Beaumont Independent School District (BISD) is a public school district in Beaumont, Texas. It has three high schools, six middle schools, and 16 elementary schools, serving approximately 21,000 students. In February 2015, Patricia Lambert, former BISD Assistant Superintendent, was indicted for theft connected with her position in the school district. Lambert allegedly defrauded the school […]

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What internal control weakness at Netflix allowed its former VP of IT operations to allegedly receive kickbacks from technology firms?

In November 24, 2014, Netflix filed a lawsuit against its former vice president of IT operations, Mike Kail, alleging fraud, breach of fiduciary duties, and other charges.  Here is an excerpt from the lawsuit filing in  Superior Court of the State of California, Santa Clara County:. “…During his tenure at Netflix, including as Netflix’s Vice […]

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What internal controls might have prevented a former Smucker employee from stealing $4.1 million over 16 years?

In October 2014, a former Smucker employee, Mark Kershey, was charged with defrauding the J.M. Smucker Company of more than $4.1 million over a 16 year period. Kershey was the chief airplane mechanic at the company’s hangar at the Akron-Canton Airport in Ohio from 1990 until he was discharged by Smucker in 2013.  From 1997 […]

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How does the SEC allege that Diamond Foods fraudulently increased earnings?

Diamond Foods produces and markets Emerald snack nuts, PopSecret popcorn, and several other snack brands. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently charged Diamond and two of the company’s former executives (the CEO and the CFO) with misleading investors by fraudulently manipulating income (see “Diamond Foods to Pay $5 Million to Settle SEC Fraud Charges,” […]

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What is the gross margin on the Apple iPhone 5S and 5C?

According to the GottaBe Mobile website in September 2013, the Apple iPhone 5S with 16 GB memory sells off-contract for $649, while the iPhone 5C with 16 GB memory sells off-contract for $549.  The same phones with 32 GB memory sell off-contract for $749 and $649. According to Bloomberg Businessweek and IHS iSuppli, the iPhone […]

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