Thursday, June 4, 2009
Spokane Fraud Squad
"Welcome to Spokane, Wash., a metropolitan object lesson in what can befall the unwary when rugged individualism is revered and consumers unsuspecting. ... Some recent antics: A father and son were sentenced to prison for selling nonexistent railroad engine parts worldwide over the internet. A Spokane man began serving a five-year federal sentence for his role in a $50 million Colorado Ponzi scheme. The SEC sued Spokanite Craig T. Jolly and his Quest Holdings, alleging Jolly was running a Ponzi scheme that collected $4 million by promising a low-risk return of up to 20% a month. He had no comment. ... Dicey stocks are another longtime growth industry. Founded in 1897, the Spokane Stock Exchange was the country's last regional exchange devoted to questionable penny stocks when it was shuttered in 1991 amid SEC pressure. ... Two years ago the Public Company Oversight Board [PCAOB] in Washington censured Spokane accounting firm Williams & Webster and individually suspended both names on the door after charging that they knew of financial problems at Utah insecticide firm Diatect International but provided an unqualified audit opinion anyway. The firm now calls thus 'past events.' ... Just what makes Spokane look like an overachiever in dodgy endeavors is a matter of debate", my emphasis, William Barrett at Forbes, 25 May 2009.
Another PCAOB triumph. Does the PCAOB think say KPMG is unaware of problems at Citigroup? Or is the PCAOB aware that it is? How can anyone take the SEC and PCAOB seriously? Is Spokane more fraud plagued than Wall Street? Or just less well connected? Now if Goldman Sachs moved its offices to Spokane ...