Accounting fraud is a type of white collar crime, where a company/accountant falsifies the recorded values in the companies accounting books. This false information is used for a variety of purposes – including profits, or financial gains for the company. Due to the nature of this fraud, often – you will be charged with more than just accounting fraud. For example, you could be charged with wire fraud, as well.
This type of fraud affects small and large companies of all sizes. Accounting fraud can relate to a single instance of misrepresnetation, or it can focus on a length amount of time. This type of fraud is punishable under both state and federal guidelines. Liability for accounting fraud typically falls on the companies accountant.
Examples of Accounting Fraud We Help With
Our law firm can help with all forms of accounting fraud. The main thing a court will look at is if there was an intent to manipulate, or falsify by the company/it’s agent. Some examples of accounting fraud are
- Over-inflating income-revenue
- Overstating value of company assets
- Hiding assets to avoid taxes
- Understating expenses/losses
- Understating liabilities
- Falsely stating info about business transactions
Frequently, accounting fraud involves sales report. In some cases, the fraud can be an earnest mistake – such as reporting a completed sale when the sale is in progress, or the deal isn’t complete yet. This can be done in order to boost sales figures for a particular report, like a quarterly or annual report. Other types of accounting fraud can be not reporting gifts, or bonuses, and failing to record vacation time and other benefits.
What’s going to happen
Failure to operate according to the GAAP – Generally Accepted Accounting Principles – can result in sanctions against the accountant, as well as a civil lawsuit. Usually, the burden of proof lies on the prosecution – to prove that the GAAP standards were violated, and that there was malice in the intent. Company accountants can be liable if they falisfy information regarding securities and company stocks/bonds. Securities violations are usually punished under federal laws. Penalties can include monetary fines, jail, or prison time. Depending on the seriousness of the violation, fines and jail sentences can be stiffened. As a result, you need an NYC accounting fraud lawyer who understand the laws.
If you suspect you may be under investigation for accounting fraud – you should contact a lawyer who can help. Raiser & Kenniff, PC, has over 50 years of combined experience handling both state, and federal, accounting fraud cases.