Former Milwaukee Police Sergeant appeals his demotion

Corstan Court was the first supervisor on the scene of the October 2004 Frank Jude Jr. beating by off-duty police officers. Chief Nannette Hegarty demoted Court to officer because he failed to perform the duties of a supervisor. Namely, he left the scene without telling anyone, did not separate witnesses and suspects, did not request … Read more Former Milwaukee Police Sergeant appeals his demotion

Your Number is Up: Recovering From Identity Theft

Written by Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, CFF

Wisconsin Law Journal

Reprinted in St. Louis Daily Record

Identity theft affects countless consumers and businesses each year, costing millions and maybe even billions of dollars. In 2004, the Federal Trade Commission received over 635,000 consumer fraud and identity theft complaints with reported losses of $547 million. During 2005, the FTC received 685,000 consumer identity theft complaints with reported fraud losses of over $680 million.

Read moreYour Number is Up: Recovering From Identity Theft

IRS audit of Greenpeace confirms non-profit status

In 2003, Public Interest Watch (a group that calls itself a watchdog of non-profit groups) wrote a letter to the Internal Revenue Service accusing Greenpeace of money laundering and other crimes. The letter accused Greenpeace of laundering $24 million in tax-deductible contributions by diverting them to a related entity that held protests against the Iraq … Read more IRS audit of Greenpeace confirms non-profit status

Accounting Problems at GM; Last Year’s Losses Increase

The board of directors of General Motors Corp is asking for an investigation into newly revealed accounting errors which have delayed the filing of its annual report. The SEC filing of its 10-K will be delayed because of accounting errors found in the residential mortgage business of GM’s finance arm, General Motors Acceptance Corp. In addition, other accounting mistakes have been found, and these will cause the company to restate earnings from 2000 to 2005.

Read moreAccounting Problems at GM; Last Year’s Losses Increase

Texas and Oklahoma wildfires and financial statement fraud

The Oklahoma CPA Society recently asked me to pen a piece about the potential for financial statement fraud related to the recent wildfires. They printed it in their newsletter, OSCPA Wire. Any natural disaster creates opportunities for fraud and that’s exactly what recent wildfires have done. Dishonest executives have a chance to manipulate their financial … Read more Texas and Oklahoma wildfires and financial statement fraud

Parents and Son Indicted on Federal Money Laundering Charges

Christopher Vnuk and his parents, Stephen Vnuk and Sharon Vnuk have been indicted by a federal grand jury on money laundering charges. Money from trafficking high-grade marijuana was allegedly laundered through purchases of vehicles. The parents are also alleged to have purchased items on credit cards, and used drug money to pay the credit card bills and home equity loans.

One particular incident allegedly includes a home equity loan to purchase a $66,685 Mercedes Benz for the son’s use. The bulk of that loan was paid off with drug money.

Read moreParents and Son Indicted on Federal Money Laundering Charges

Waste and Abuse Related to Hurricane Katrina

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a short report about the millions of dollars wasted in the government’s award of post-Katrina contracts. Included is at least $3 million spent for 4,000 beds that were never used. ($750 per bed!)

The report also speaks to the non-competitive contracts awarded and how the incompetence of FEMA contributed to waste and abuse.

Read moreWaste and Abuse Related to Hurricane Katrina