30 Nov

Year-End Tax Planning

The end of the year is fast approaching, and its’ a good time to remind everyone of a few basic things they ought to do before December 31. I appeared last year on CNBC’s On the Money to talk about my five best tips for taxpayers.

29 Nov

Video Professor Doesn’t Want You to Know How Their Scam Works

John W. Scherer, founder of VideoProfessor.com. Do you want this guy to profit at your expense?

John W. Scherer, founder of VideoProfessor.com. Do you want this guy to profit at your expense?

Have you seen the Video Professor on television? Nice infomercial type advertisements where you’re offered all sorts of computer software for free.. just pay shipping and handling.

If you’re like most people, you probably thought the company made its money on the shipping and handling fees. They gave out cheap CDs of software that cost them a couple of bucks to make and ship, and they charge consumers $6.95 or $9.95 for shipping, netting them about $5 to $8 in profit. Read More

24 Nov

Grant Thornton to SEC: Overstock.com Is Lying

Patrick Byrne of Overstock.comUPDATE: Overstock.com just issued a press release in which Patrick Byrne calls Grant Thornton a bunch of liars. Add them to his list of “miscreants.”

No longer can Patrick Byrne, wacky CEO of Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) claim that those pointing out his lies and materially misleading financial statements are just “miscreants,” operatives of an imaginary “Sith Lord,” or [insert any of a number of Jewish slurs that Byrne is prone to use].  Now national auditing firm Grant Thornton is calling Patrick Byrne and his clowns liars. He’s collecting quite a slew of admirers.

Yesterday, Overstock filed an 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding their firing of Grant Thornton. Here’s what Overstock.com has to say about the accounting issue that led to the firing, and I have placed in bold the most important part: Read More

22 Nov

A Review of Expert Fraud Investigation: A Step-by-Step Guide

My second book, Expert Fraud Investigation: A Step-by-Step Guide, was recently reviewed by my colleague Michael Goldman for The Value Examiner, the magazine published for the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts. It’s read by consultants who work in the areas of business and asset valuation, business fraud deterrence, detection, and investigation, litigation consulting, and financial forensics.

I thought Michael’s review was very kind. And for the record, he and I had never met until a few days ago, so I didn’t have a chance to influence his review in any way. I love reviews like this because they really help prospective buyers of the book get a better idea of whether the book has what they need.

Michael’s review… Read More

20 Nov

Trouble Keeping the Books at TheStreet.com?

thestreetIt’s interesting to note that TheStreet.com (NASDAQ:TSCM) is apparently having trouble keeping its books, especially since Jim Cramer is one who loves to rant about companies with shoddy bookkeeping. It’s troubling, of course, because Cramer suggests that you should sell the stocks of companies that don’t keep up with their regulatory filings, and TheStreet.com is now delinquent on filing its 10-Qc for 6/30/09 and 9/30/09.

From their recent press release: Read More

17 Nov

Overstock.com: The Circus Continues

Sam Antar has often referred to Overstock.com and CEO Patrick Byrne as the gifts that keep on giving. And he sure is right! There is never a dull moment when it comes to wacky conspiracy theories and accounting woes that never end.

Last week, Overstock (NASDAQ:OSTK) announced that it wouldn’t be filing its 10-Q for the third quarter on time. The reason? Patrick Byrne had created another clever (but completely wrong) accounting treatment for another accounting error recently discovered, and the auditors wouldn’t sign off on it. Read More

13 Nov

Overstock.com Admits They’re Clueless About the Accounting Rules

This week Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) notified the public that they wouldn’t file their third quarter 10-Q on time. The reason:

The registrant has been unable to complete its financial statements for the quarter ended September 30, 2009, as it is continuing to analyze the proper accounting treatment for $785,000 the registrant received during the first quarter of 2009 as repayment  under a new agreement with the vendor for amounts the registrant overpaid to the vendor in 2008 and early 2009.  The registrant believes the amount is properly recognizable in the first quarter of 2009, when the cash was received.  However, the registrant is continuing to review the issue, and may ultimately conclude that the amount should have been recognized in 2008. Read More

05 Nov

More lies about “job creation” with stimulus money

I wrote last week about my opinion of the fraud that is our federal government’s stimulus programs. Our government has a vested interest in making us think these programs are successful. How else can an agenda of “wealth redistribution” and socialism be promoted? They must have “success” on their side to justify continuing on this destructive path.

And now more news reports are coming out about how phony the stimulus “success” numbers are… Read More

01 Nov

Our Government Defrauds Us: Cash For Clunkers

clunkersPeople who support our government engaging in “stimulus” activities are fools. While it sounds good to “stimulate” the economy and there are supposedly jobs created and saved with stimulus dollars, the truth is that these government programs are at best very wasteful, and at the worst downright fraudulent.

Look at the stimulus numbers in general. In Wisconsin, for example, federal stimulus money was reported to have “saved” 8,284 jobs. That sounds impressive, until you find out that 75% of those jobs were government jobs. (And no, I don’t belive the government report that the jobs saved were “essential.” That’s a smokescreen, plain and simple. There are plenty of tax dollars to fund “essential” services, and the reason governments are “broke” is because they’re using tons of tax money to fund non-essential things that they should not be doing!) Read More