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Financial Statement Fraud Casebook: Baking the Ledgers and Cooking the Books by Joseph T. Wells

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Chapter 9

Organized Crime Is Not Just for the Usual Suspects

David Shapiro

Felix Forme was not a big man. However, he dreamed large and desired fine wines, first-class international travel and a house by the beach. A plumber's son, he didn't start out as a master of the universe, though he could fit pipes better than the highest-paid investment bankers of his day. He worked his way through public schools and earned a bachelor's degree at a state school in central Pennsylvania, where he did the practical thing — he studied accounting and business. Academia prepared him for debits and credits but not for the addictive allures of Bordeaux, Brooks Brothers and Asian call girls.

“Honey, I don't want to be a glorified clerk forever,” he complained to his wife and former childhood sweetheart, Margaret. “I want to create things,” he said, “and get paid lots of money.” But their second child was on the way and it was no time for castles in the sky.

“But you're not a clerk; you're a CPA,” corrected Maggie.

“Right,” concluded Felix without satisfaction or a smile. “How do you suppose investment bankers get rich?” asked Felix, not waiting for an answer from Maggie as he opened the door and headed to the train station.

The years accumulated, exceeding a decade. Felix did his time, plugging holes in financial statements for a while but losing enthusiasm — if he ever had it — for public accounting. After another five years as a CPA, he was done with adjusting journal entries and reviewing past ...

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