Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Difficulty of Proving Financial Crimes

Highly recommend this! By Peter Henning @ DealBook.
A more significant problem for prosecutors was the absence of concrete proof that Mr. Goyal intended to defraud or that he sought to mislead the auditors. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found that the “government’s failure to offer any evidence supporting even an inference of willful and knowing deception undermines its case.” 
The court rejected the proposition that an executive’s knowledge of accounting and desire to meet corporate revenue targets can be sufficient to establish the intent to commit a crime. The court stated, “If simply understanding accounting rules or optimizing a company’s performance were enough to establish scienter, then any action by a company’s chief financial officer that a juror could conclude in hindsight was false or misleading could subject him to fraud liability without regard to intent to deceive. That cannot be.”
The court further explained that an executive’s compensation tied to the company’s performance does not prove fraud, stating that such “a general financial incentive merely reinforces Goyal’s preexisting duty to maximize NAI’s performance, and his seeking to meet expectations cannot be inherently probative of fraud.”
Click Here to Read: The Difficulty of Proving Financial Crimes

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