Accounting fraud, also known as “creative accounting” or “cooking the books,” is a method of bookkeeping that deliberately misrepresents a company’s assets, liabilities, or income. These practices may follow the letter of accounting guidelines, but if they are used to present misinformation to stockholders or customers, it is an illegal practice.
Common forms of accounting fraud include:
- Including money from a reserve, or money set aside as protection against bad loans, in a statement of the corporation’s profit. This is most frequently committed by banks.
- “Slush fund accounting,” or hiding a certain amount of money to ensure that managers will receive their bonuses even if the company faces a setback.
- Smaller businesses may use fraudulent means to get tax breaks, such as listing unemployed family members as “employees.” Although this does not get the same media attention as large scale corporate fraud, it is important to know that it is still a crime.
If You’ve Been Accused of Accounting Fraud
If you are convicted or even accused of accounting fraud, you will be facing more consequences than fines or jail time. Your reputation may be permanently damaged, and your entire career path may be changed by having such a record.
This is why anyone who has been accused of fraud needs to contact an experienced Milwaukee accounting fraud lawyer right away. Your lawyer will be able to review your case, offer you much needed legal advice, and argue for your rights in court.