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

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Chapter 27

A Very Merry Fraud

Clive Tomes

It was a call I could only have dreamed of. The phone rang during an extremely stressful time: I was finishing my last few weeks in the Jersey office of an international accounting firm while setting up my new accounting practice, and just a couple of weeks before Christmas. It looked like I'd fail, yet again, to get any shopping done before December 24.

“I've got a big job for you,” said the voice on the phone. No niceties as always for straight-to-the-point Murdoch. I'd known him since our schooldays, and he'd always been the same — blunt, no-nonsense, straight-talking Murdoch. He was almost on the verge of being rude, but he got results and I liked him.

“Be at my office at 5:00 P.M. You won't regret it,” and that was all. No hello, no goodbye, no asking if I was available, and no clue about what this could be about — not that I cared. Any job would do as I desperately needed work in my new practice, and Murdoch was right — I didn't regret it.

I called my wife to tell her I'd be late, which fortunately she understood, knowing how important any potential piece of business was to both of us. I then made my way through St. Helier's busy shopping streets to Murdoch's office on the other side of town.

“At last,” said Murdoch as I arrived at five on the dot. There were two men in his office, apparently businessmen judging by the suits and ties, looking even more stressed than I felt, if that were possible. “Let me introduce you, Clive. This ...

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