Sep 09

Fraudulent Revenue Recognition Causes Rift at the SEC

A settlement agreement has been reached In the Matter of Lynn R. Blodgett, Adm. Proc. File No. 3-16045 (August 28, 2014), but without consensus on the part of the Securities Exchange Committee (“SEC”) as to the appropriate penalty. The underlying circumstances involve a financial fraud action against two executives at Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. (“ACS”), Lynn Blodget, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2014/09/fraudulent-revenue-recognition-causes-rift-at-the-sec/

Sep 02

Performing a Valuation with Limited Information

A recent Appeals Court decision addressed what level of evidence is required to demonstrate business value in a divorce proceeding. In Hugh v. Hugh, 2014, the wife in a divorce proceeding filed a cross-appeal on a number of issues, including the trial court’s failure to value her husband’s business (“E-Tech”). The Appeals Court agreed that while …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2014/09/performing-a-valuation-with-limited-information/

Aug 29

Three Strikes, Damages Out in Recent CA Class Certification

Jones v. ConAgra Foods, Inc. is a recent case that demonstrates the damages-based hurdles to obtaining class certification.  Despite Plaintiff’s presentation of three different damages models (“full refund,” “price premium,” and “regression”), Judge Charles R. Breyer concluded each failed to demonstrate class-wide damages Because of this failure, Judge Breyer denied class certification. The case involved …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2014/08/three-strikes-damages-out-in-recent-ca-class-certification/

Aug 27

Lack of Receipts Sinks Class Action Certification

The Northern District of California recently denied class certification related to claims of improper marketing and advertising of Fresh Step cat litter (In Re Clorox Consumer Litigation, Case No. 12-00280-SC (N.D. Cal. July 28, 2014) (ECF No. 129)). One of the reasons was a failure to establish a class that was sufficiently ascertainable, as plaintiffs …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2014/08/lack-of-receipts-sinks-class-action-certification/

Jul 18

Over $100 Billion In Improper Federal Payments Occur Each Year

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”)  testified before Congress to describe the breakdown of over $100 billion of improper federal payments in 2013.  Such errors included tax credits for those not entitled to them, unnecessary Medicare payments, and unemployment benefits for “under the table” workers, among others.  Shockingly, these types of monumental errors are generally repetitive and …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2014/07/over-100-billion-in-improper-federal-payments-occur-each-year/

Jul 14

Audit Re-do Required Because of Inappropriate Relationship

Ernst & Young (E&Y) audits of Ventas, a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the healthcare sector, will have to be redone for the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2013, along with a review for the quarter ended March 31, 2014.  This unfortunate and costly required effort results from E&Y’s determination that the work …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2014/07/audit-re-do-required-because-of-inappropriate-relationship/

Jul 11

Internal Control Failings At The IRS

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) recently issued “Management Report: Improvements Are Needed to Enhance the Internal Revenue Service’s Internal Controls”, describing how the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) continues to have internal control deficiencies, both new and old. The purpose of the report is to present internal control deficiencies identified during the GAO’s audit of …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2014/07/internal-control-failings-at-the-irs/

Jul 09

Daubert Provides For Liberal Admission Of Expert Testimony

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a district court decision to grant summary judgment based on excluding three plaintiff experts regarding causation.  While the district court ruled the experts did not reliably exclude alternative causes of injury and therefore their testimony was inadmissible under Daubert, the Court of Appeals concluded that this was …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2014/07/daubert-provides-for-liberal-admission-of-expert-testimony/

Jun 25

Ninth Circuit Issues Reminder on Daubert: Trial Court Is A Gatekeeper, Not A Fact Finder

In a recent case involving the City of Pomona (“Pomona”) v. SQM North America Corporation (“SQM”), Pomona alleged that SQM’s importation of sodium nitrate for fertilizer caused a perchlorate contamination in the city.  Although the district court excluded under Daubert the expert testimony of Pomona’s expert witness on causation, the Ninth Circuit reversed the ruling, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2014/06/ninth-circuit-issues-reminder-on-daubert-trial-court-is-a-gatekeeper-not-a-fact-finder/

Jun 20

New Rules Aimed At Increasing Auditor Scrutiny Of Critical Fraud Areas

With its new audit standards and amendments aimed at specific transaction types, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) has targeted three critical areas in its ongoing efforts to combat financial reporting fraud.  A more comprehensive article found here describes the new rules to heighten auditor scrutiny regarding (i) related-party deals, (ii) significant unusual transactions, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2014/06/new-rules-aimed-at-increasing-auditor-scrutiny-of-critical-fraud-areas/

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