Happy Fourth, America!

July 4, 2015

Happy Fourth! Just watched The Perfect Game, a remarkable movie based on a true story that captures the American dream at its best. America’s game — yes, baseball — played (mostly) by the rules. Immigrant* underdogs win through sheer grit, pluck, and faith against enormous odds. *Technically speaking, the kids in this story were not yet […]

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About that new FASB revenue recognition standard . . .

October 18, 2014

This morning, I made a short presentation on the new FASB-IASB revenue recognition standard, Revenue From Contracts With Customers, now at FASB Codification Topic 606. The slides appear below this post. At the moment, Topic 606 will be effective for public company year ends beginning on or after January 1, 2017. We’ll see whether this effective date […]

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SEC loses laptops. IRS, EPA lose emails. CDC loses Ebola. What next?

October 9, 2014

What times are these when supposedly uber-competent government agencies lose control of, well, mission-critical stuff like laptops, emails, and deadly viruses? What’s next? The SEC OIG says hundreds of laptops are unaccounted for. The good news is that OIG has disclosed they’re missing. Bad news? While the IRS and EPA “lose” only emails, the SEC loses […]

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Statistician wins big with SAS 9.3 in False Claims Act case

September 30, 2014

Statistics and SAS 9.3 were big winners yesterday, in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. In United States ex. rel. Martin v. Life Care Centers of America (1:08-cv-251), the court denied, after its own detailed analysis of proffered expert testimony, a defense motion to exclude the government’s testifying expert statistician, Dr. Constantin T. Yiannoutsos. In […]

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Which changes in accounting principle are material?

October 24, 2012

What misstatements or omissions are “material” and which are not?  With the recent roll-out of the SEC’s new whistleblower regulations, it is a popular question among companies and prospective whistleblowers.  This brief summary offers insights into this important topic as it applies to changes in accounting principle. First, despite recent IFRS rumblings, SEC regulations require […]

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Confidentiality agreements blocked by SEC Rule 21F-17

June 20, 2011

For whistleblowers and their past or present employers, one of the more important features of the SEC’s new whistleblower program regulations is Rule 21F-17,  copied in part below.  Over the years, targets of whistleblower claims have employed increasingly aggressive and sophisticated tactics — including “gag orders,” TROs, and breach of confidentiality agreement or even trade-secret-theft […]

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Sharing PHI with attorneys: OK under HIPAA?

December 30, 2010

The single largest group of health care whistleblowers are health care workers themselves — nurses, doctors, dentists, therapists and billing professionals — who encounter fraud on the job.  Do such health care workers violate HIPAA by disclosing patient protected health information (“PHI”) when blowing the whistle?  There is no need for them to do so.  […]

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“Right GAAP” and the move to IFRS

September 3, 2010

Whenever “risk-management” professionals characterize their prognostications as near-certain, I get nervous.  Memories of the Berlin Wall, Black-Scholes, Long-Term Capital Management, Salomon Brothers and AIG dance before my eyes.  Today’s exhibit A: Bruce Pounder’s September 2, 2010 CFO.com article, “Why the SEC Won’t Flip the IFRS Switch.” Pounder’s “most significant” point — that “for the SEC […]

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SEC settles Dell fraud case: Execs pay millions

July 26, 2010

Is the SEC on a roll or just looking over its shoulder at salivating securities whistleblowers? On the heels of settling with Goldman Sachs last week for $550 million, the SEC yesterday announced its $111+ million take from settling accounting fraud charges against Dell Computer and several current and former Dell executives including Michael Dell, […]

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SEC-Goldman settlement driven by H.R. 4173?

July 24, 2010

Was it mere coincidence that the SEC suddenly settled with Goldman Sachs for $550 million — a figure widely seen as a fraction of what Goldman should have paid — on the same day, July 15, 2010, that the new SEC whistleblower bounty program finally passed both houses of Congress?

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