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Whistleblowers are a key element in combating corporate fraud. But making the decision to become a whistleblower is not an easy one. Often these corporate watchdogs fear retaliation from their employers, but they make the courageous decision to divulge information that can potentially save a company from financial ruin. This case explores one financial controller's experience as a whistleblower and why she decided to stand up to executive leadership and make the right decision to report fraud.
On March 18, 2003, a federal law enforcement task force executed a search warrant at the Birmingham, Alabama offices of HealthSouth Corporation. The task force seized thousands of documents maintained in the company's executive offices as well as its financial, accounting, and information technology departments. Within five weeks, nearly a dozen current and former HealthSouth executives, including five who had served as chief financial officer, would plead guilty to criminal violations of federal securities laws and related statutes. Weston Smith, former HealthSouth CFO, talks about the four stages of the fraud.
Good Intentions: Unlike many corporate fraudsters, Harold Katz was unwittingly corralled into committing crimes. He didn't intend to mislead investors. But he complied when his boss asked him to create a spread
On February 14, 2013, Rita Crundwell, former comptroller for the city of Dixon, IL, was sentenced to 19 ½ years in prison for stealing more than $53 million from Dixon. Crundwell's crime went on record as the largest municipal fraud in U.S. history. Just as shocking as the amount stolen from this small Illinois town, was the fact that Crundwell engaged in her scheme to pillage Dixon for 20 years before being discovered. Crundwell's fraud shines an unflattering spotlight on the accounting profession and the role of the audit.
As expected, it looks typical of the high-quality Helios production.
The interviews and the documentary reflection in the case allowed us to see the emotion of the people being profiled.
I thought the eCase was one of the best assignments I've had in years.
It meant 10 times more than reading about it in a book or article, I hope eCases are used in more of my classes.
I thoroughly love teaching my accounting classes and the better material you have, the more fun it becomes. I taught my first accounting class as a master's student at Virginia Tech and as I reflect on that experience, I remember being given a book, a syllabus template and the class location. No one ever actually spoke with me about how to teach. The assumption was that because I knew the subject matter, I could teach it. Personally, I think that is a risky assumption. Early during my teaching career, I used very traditional presentation methods; lectures and PowerPoint slides. And I began to realize that my students seemed disengaged and bored. I wanted them to feel as excited and passionate about accounting as I was. So, I decided to make some changes. I began teaching with tv and film and my classes went from dull to exciting in a matter of weeks. I've used movies like Enron: The Smartest Guys In the Room or shows like Shark Tank but then I started creating my own content.