Francine McKenna over at re: The Auditors has a nice piece about Dan Stulac, a former Arthur Andersen partner who was in charge of the Peregrine Systems audit. Dan used the “I was duped” defense in his criminal case (charges of conspiracy, securities fraud, and wire fraud).
The charges against him were dismissed by a judge. Will someone like this ever get a job again? After all, his defense attorney apparently spent quite a bit of time proving that he doesn’t know much.
Consider this quote from Stulac’s attorney:
“Several jurors had the impression that because my client was a CPA and because he worked for a large accounting firm at the time and he was well-educated, he should have known or must have known of the fraud given his role as an outside auditor,” Attanasio says. “It was tremendously difficult to dispel that notion in the jury selection and throughout the trial.”
So auditors aren’t as smart as they want us to think they are?