Zzzz Best Fraud

In: Business and Management

Submitted By brittany171994
Words 626
Pages 3
Barry Minkow founded ZZZZ Best (pronounced Zee Best) while 15 years old and a sophomore in high school. The business started in his parent’s garage with three employees and four telephones. Minkow struggled to meet basic expenses in the beginning. In January 1986, ZZZZ Best went public and began to sell shares on NASDAQ. However, the company began to rapidly decline. In July 1987, Minkow resigned and the company sued him for fraud allegations. This landed Minkow in federal prison, with a sentence of 25 years for 57 counts of fraud. In the beginning, Minkow struggled to meet the basic expenses of his company. Two banks closed his business accounts because the California Law did not allow minors to sign binding contracts, including checks. He began to receive several customer complaints as well as the demand for payment from suppliers. At times, Minkow also found it hard to meet payroll. Because of the lack of operating capital, Minkow financed his business by check kiting, stealing and selling his grandmothers jewelry, staging break-ins at his offices, and running up fraudulent credit card charges. With the help of Tom Padgett, an insurance claims adjuster, ZZZZ Best branched into the “insurance restoration” business. Minkow forged many documents which claimed that the company was involved in several restoration projects for Padgett’s company. Both Minkow and Padgett formed a fake company, Interstate Appraisal Services, which verified the details of the restorations to Minkow’s bankers. The restoration projects eventually accounted for about 86 percent of his company’s profits, but they were non-existent. In January 1986, Minkow took ZZZZ Best public and began trading at $18 per share on NASDAQ. Accountants wanted to see “Interstate Appraisal Services” and a restoration job. Minkow paid off a guard to show a fake office and showed an incomplete building as a…...

Similar Documents

Zzzz Best Company

...ZZZZ Best company Inc. Summary “ZZZZ Best company” was founded by 16-year old Barry Minkow. The core activity of company was carpet cleaning. As he began doing business, Minkow soon realized that carpet cleaning was a difficult way to earn money because customers always complained and vendors demanded payments. Soon Minkow started seeking for financing but realized that bank were not willing to lend him money due to his age and low profitability of his business. That’s why he came up with the idea of forgeries and thefts from his insurance company. Later on, making friends he asked the insurance claim adjuster - Tom Padgett to confirm from time to time that Minkow’s company received occasional insurance restoration contracts on remodeling works on properties damaged by fire, storms and other catastrophes. Soon he realized that there was no need in development of carpet business because the main “income” was obtained by restoration operations. Then, Minkow decided to go public and for that purpose he hired independent auditor – George Greenspan. By that time Minkow had established fake insurance company and Padgett had got the top position in it to confirm fraudulent restoration contracts, so Greenspan didn’t notice any problems with those sites. By the end of the year he was dismissed and Minkow retained “Ernst & Whinney” to enhance creditability of his operations on restoration contracts. “Ernst & Whinney” agreed to provide 4 types of services to “ZZZZ best......

Words: 1399 - Pages: 6

Zzzz Best

...Phần 1 Ngày 19 tháng 5 năm 1987, một bài viết ngắn trong The Wall Street báo cáo rằng ZZZZ Company, Inc ..Reseda, California, đã ký một hợp đồng trị giá 13,8 triệu USD bảo hiểm cho dự án phục hồi. dự án này chỉ là gần đây nhất của một loạt các công việc phục hồi lớn có được của ZZZZ Best (phát âm là "Zee Best"). Nằm ở San Fernando Valley của miền nam California, ZZZZ Best đã bắt đầu hoạt động vào mùa thu năm 1982 giống như 1 doanh nghiệp nhỏ, với hoạt động là làm sạch thảm tại từng nhà. Dưới sự chỉ đạo của Barry Minkow, 1 người hoạt bát và hướng ngoại mới 16 tuổi đã thành lập công ty và bước đầu hoạt động nó từ nhà để xe của cha mẹ, Zzzz Best có những kinh nghiệm bùng nổ tăng trưởng doanh thu và lợi nhuận trong những năm đầu tiên tồn tại của nó. Trong ba năm từ 1984 đến 1987, thu nhập ròng của công ty tăng từ ít hơn $200000 đến hơn $5 triệu trên tổng doanh thu $50 triệu USD. Năm 1986 ZZZZ Best trở thành công ty cổ phần và lên sàn, Minkow và một số các cộng sự thân cận của ông đã trở thành triệu phú trong 1 đêm. Bởi vào cuối mùa xuân năm 1987, giá trị thị trường của cổ phiếu công ty Minkow vượt quá $ 100 triệu USD, trong khi tổng giá trị thị trường của ZZZZ Best đã vượt ngưỡng 200 triệu USD. Giám đốc điều hành trẻ nhất trên cả nước được hưởng "good life", trong đó bao gồm một ngôi nhà sang trọng trong một khu ngoại ô của Los Angeles và một chiếc ô tô Ferrari màu đỏ. Minkow có 1 sức hút và với tài năng kinh doanh đã làm cho anh thành người được săn đón trên các chương trình......

Words: 2900 - Pages: 12

Zzzz Best

...founded ZZZZ Best Carpet Cleaning. Over the next several years, he franchised the chain and took it public. "In the three-year period from 1984 to 1987, the com¬pany’s net income surged from less than $200,000 to more than $5 million on reve¬nues of $50 million. When ZZZZ Best went public in 1986, Minkow and several of his close associ¬ates became multimillionaires overnight. By the late spring of 1987, Minkow’s stock in the company had a market value exceeding $100 million, and the total market value of ZZZZ Best surpassed $200 million." (Knapp) Less than two years later, Minkow had been exposed as a fast talking con artist who bilked his closest friends and Wall Street out of millions of dollars. Barry Minkow began serving a twenty-five-year prison sentence after being tried and convicted on fifty-seven counts of securities fraud. ZZZZ Best differed in part from a typical Ponzi scheme in that Minkow’s carpet-cleaning business was very real. "Indeed, the carpet-cleaning division won high marks for its quality." (Miller) However, its insurance restoration division, which eventually accounted for 86 percent of company revenues, was nonexistent. Minkow raised money by factoring his account receivables for work under contract, as well as floating funds through several banks in an elaborate check kiting scheme. The story of Barry Minkow is hardly an isolated case. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, "the estimated annual cost of occupational fraud to......

Words: 1322 - Pages: 6

Zzzz Best

...Case 4-6 ZZZZ Best* The story of ZZZZ Best is one of greed and audaciousness. It is the story of a 15-year old boy from Reseda, California who was driven to be successful regardless of the costs. His name is Barry Minkow. Minkow had high hopes to make it big – to be a millionaire very early in life. He started a carpet cleaning business in the garage of his home. Minkow realized early on that he was not going to become a millionaire cleaning other people’s carpets. He had bigger plans than that. Minkow was going to make it big in the insurance restoration business. In other words, ZZZZ Best would contract to do carpet and drapery cleaning jobs after a fire or flood. Since the damage from the fire or flood probably would be covered by insurance, the customer would be eager to have the work done. The only problem with Minkow’s insurance restoration idea was that it was all a fiction. There were no insurance restoration jobs, at least for ZZZZ Best. In the process of creating the fraud, Minkow was able to dupe the auditors, Ernst & Whinney into thinking the insurance restoration business was real. In fact, over 80 percent of his revenue was allegedly from this work. The auditors never caught on until it was too late. How Barry Became a Fraudster Minkow wrote a book, Clean Sweep: A Story of Compromise, Corruption, Collapse, and Comeback** that provides some insights into the mind of a 15-year old kid __________________ * The facts are derived from a......

Words: 3056 - Pages: 13

Zzzz Best Company

...Transcript of ZZZZ Best Company, Inc ZZZZ Best Company, Inc Case 1.9 Audit Review VS Full Audit Review • The accountant is not aware of any misstatements or material modifications that need to be made • Limited assurance • Auditor has no opinion on the financial statements, just looks them over Barry Minkow- 16 years old 1982 Carpet cleaning business turned insurance restoration Tom Padgett and Interstate Appraisal Services Ernst & Whinney- elaborate scheme to convince them History 1. Client imposed audit limitations 2. Limitations of audit evidence 3. Importance of auditor communication when one resigns & 8K filing Key Issues Audit- • Auditor obtains a high level of assurance • Auditor can express an opinion about the accuracy and level of assurance • Auditor tests internal controls and tests for misstatements and obtains and understanding of the entities internal control and fraud risk Matt Sepiol Samantha Claysen Limitations of Audit Evidence AU 326- Audit Evidence Auditors Used Confirmation, Documentation, and Analytical Procedures AU 326.08- Information from outside sources is better than from internal sources Confirmations were made by Tom Padgett who was involved in the scheme. Interstate Appraisal Services and Assured Property Management provided the Documentation Was Involved in Fraud Collusion amongst outside Parties Gives Evidence Limitations The client receiving payment doesn't prove the existence of those contracts. No......

Words: 496 - Pages: 2

Zzzz Best

...documentation that was provided by the management of ZZZZ best company, they should verified from 3rd parties the claims made by ZZZZ best in their financial statement and also audits usually work according to the audit fees charged, depended on the audit fee agreed that will determine the scope of the audit. 3. The apparently reliable evidence can lead an auditor to an improper conclusion in the case where these evidence were fraudulently designed by the management and also where the auditor did not carry out an audit test, or where he did not do a physical inspection. 4. The purpose of predecessor-successor auditor communication is to ensure possible misstatements in financial statements are communicated from one auditor to the next. The successor has the responsibility of initiating these communications. In summary information that a successor should obtain include but not limited to * Information that might bear on the integrity of management. * Disagreements with management as to accounting principles, auditing procedures, or other similarly significant matters. * Communications to audit committees or others with equivalent authority and responsibility regarding fraud, illegal acts by clients, and internal-control-related matters. * The predecessor auditor's understanding as to the reasons for the change of auditors. 5. Yes, because he was unable to ask third parties working on any of ZZZZ best’s sites any questions without breaching......

Words: 313 - Pages: 2

Zzzz Best

...A California appellate court recognized Ernst & Whinney not liable to Union Bank of California which allegedly relied on Ernst’s review report in extending $ 7 million to ZZZZ Best Co. I agree with court’s decision because Ernst & Whinney never issued an audit opinion on financial statements it was just a review report which was disclosed. However, I do not justify Ernst & Whinney because the auditors besides from failure to notice ‘red flags’ had done few mistakes which lead to the law suit. The first mistake that the auditors made involved Mr. George Greenspan during the 1986 audit. This was the first audit since ZZZZ Best became a public company and the mistake involved the inspection of the insurance restoration sites. Mr. Greenspan had talked with Tom Padgett, and Mr. Padgett confirmed the insurance contracts were real and showed proper documents to back them up, Mr. Greenspan never actually inspected any of the actual insurance restoration sites. Doing so could have stopped the scam from hurting the public stockholders, especially because they take in such a huge percentage of income for ZZZZ Best. The second mistake involved Ernst & Whinney, was that Greenspan reported during the interview to the congressional subcommittee, that Ernst & Whinney never got in touch with him to talk about ZZZZ. If this conversation occurred, Greenspan might have been able to discuss his neglection to inspect the insurance restoration sites, which therefore could have given Ernst &......

Words: 980 - Pages: 4

Zzzz Best Company

...CASE 1.9 ZZZZ Best Company, \nc. On May 19,1987, a short article in The Wall Street Journal reported that ZZZZ Best Company, Inc., of Reseda, California, had signed a contract for a $13.8 million insurance restoration project. This project was just the most recent of a series of large restoration jobs obtained by ZZZZ Best (pronounced "zee best"). Located in the San Fernando Valley of southern California, ZZZZ Best had begun operations in the fall of 1982 as a small, door-ta-door carpet cleaning operation. Under the direction of Barry Minkow, the extroverted 16-year-old who founded the company and initially operated it out of his parents' garage, ZZZZ Best experienced explosive growth in both revenues and profits during the first several years of its existence. In the three-year period from 1984 to 1987, the company's net income surged from less than $200,000 to more than $5 million on revenues of $50 million. When 72ZZ Best went public in 1986,Minkow and several of his close associates became multimillionaires overnight. By the late spring of 1987,the market value of Minkow's stock in the company exceeded $100 million, while the total market value of 72ZZ Best surpassed $200 million. The youngest chief executive officer in the nation enjoyed the "good life;which included an elegant home in an exclusive suburb of Los Angeles and a fire-engine red Ferrari. Minkow's charm and entrepreneurial genius made him a sought-after commodity on the television talk show circuit and......

Words: 3832 - Pages: 16

Zzzz Best Company Case

... ZZZZ Best Company, Inc. Shiqi Hu, Lin Ding, Trang Mai, Yi Wang ACCT3309 Audit, O’Hara 11/03/2014 Background Barry Minkow, who is a young entrepreneur with history of credit card fraud as a teenager, was convicted on 57 counts of securities fraud. He started ZZZZ Best Company in carpet cleaning business in 1982 when he was only 16 years old. ZZZZ Best Company was turned into insurance restoration business that Minkow recognized the benefits with his own “innovative” way to finance his business. Minkow used fake restoration contracts to generate the paper profits and fake information to convince bankers to loan him money with help from his friend, Tom Padgett. The company focused on insurance restoration business and went public in 1986. First full-scope audit was completed by George Greenspan in April 1986. Ernst & Whinney was hired in 1987 after George was dismissed by Minkow. Larry Gary, auditor from Ernst & Whinney, required to visit a restoration site in a multimillion-dollar contract but was discouraged by Minkow. Minkow also required auditors to sign a confidentiality agreement that not to make any follow-up phone calls to any contractors and owners of the buildings before the visit to these phony sites. In May 1987, the Los Angeles Times published article on ZZZZ Best Company fraud accusations. Audit firms resigned after confirmations of the fraud and Ernst & Whinney received an anonymous letter that contains several allegations of fraudulent......

Words: 1473 - Pages: 6

Zzzz Best Case 1.9

...1. Ernst & Whinney never issued an audit opinion on financial statements of ZZZZ Best but did issue a review report on the company’s quarterly statements for the three months ended July 31, 1986. How does a review differ from an audit, particularly in terms of assurance implied by the auditor’s report? A review and an audit report are both a form of an attestation engagement. A Review, however, is less in scope so it provides a moderate level of assurance on the financial statements. It is considered a “sniff” of an audit, which comparatively provides reasonable assurance that no material misstatements occurred. Since a review deals with a limited scope, it does not provide the basis for expressing an opinion on the presentation of the financial statements or whether they are in accordance with GAAP, and it is not allowed on certain engagements. However, since a review still provides moderate assurance, the auditor must remain independent. 2. SAS No. 106. “Audit Evidence.” Identifies the principal “management assertions” that underlie a set of financial statements. The occurrence assertion was particularly critical for ZZZZ Best’s insurance restoration contracts. ZZZZ Best’s auditors obtained third party confirmations to support the contracts, reviews available documentation, performed analytical procedures to evaluate the reasonableness of the revenues recorded on the contract, and visited selecterd restoration sites. Comment on the limitations of the evidence that......

Words: 587 - Pages: 3

Zzzz Best

...perform professional services to the best of the auditor’s ability with concern for the best interest of the public. The sole proprietor-auditor and Ernst & Whinney did not gather enough evidence on the restoration contracts, nor viewed the evidence gathered with skepticism. Between 1985 and 1986 there is a 390% increase in Revenue and 350% increase in Cost of goods sold. The auditors should question the increase in accounts receivable, which was 33% of sales and represents four months on an annualized basis. The auditors should question where the cash is from the collection of sales (Sales of $4,845 less A/R of $693 less Cost of goods sold of$2,050). The company should have approximately $2 million to pay down liabilities or invest in assets. With the cash flow with borrowings of current liabilities and notes payable, the company had approximately $6.5 million before paying cost of goods sold or approximately $4.5 to pay down liabilities or invest in the company, yet cash only increased $50,000 for the year. Where was the cash used? 1. ZZZZ Best Company, which was initially a small rug-cleaning business, was founded by Barry Minkow when he was sixteen years old. 2. Minkow transformed ZZZZ Best into a leading company in the small and highly fragmented insurance restoration industry by including bogus insurance restoration revenues in ZZZZ Best’s financial statements. 3. The daring and resourceful Minkow eventually took ZZZZ Best public. 4. Despite the fact that the...

Words: 919 - Pages: 4

Zzzz Best

...financial statements is a form of attestation service that the auditor issued a written report to express an opinion. Financial statements are materials that correspond with generally accepted accounting principles. When giving the information of the financial statements, ZZZZ client makes several claims about their financial conditions and results of restoration business operations. External users that trust the financial statements to make business decisions to observe the auditor’s report a warning of the statements’ trustworthiness. ZZZZ best company value the auditor’s assurance because of the auditor’s independent firm from the client. The knowledge of these financial statements that they report matters is important. A review of the financial statements is another method of attestation service, used by Certified Public Accountants. An audit does provide the highest level of assurance, a review provision that delivers a reasonable amount of assurance on the financial statements. A review would be further acceptable to meet the external user’s requirements. A CPA firm can charge a small fee other than audit report. Ernst & Whinney, independent accountants, has never issued an audit opinion for ZZZZ Best Company; however, they decided to do a review report. As stated in their engagement letter, the auditors provided three months of service until the contract end. There was a limit to prepare less possibility to examine; therefore, it means a low level of......

Words: 889 - Pages: 4

Zzzz Best Case 1.9

...Auditing Concepts ZZZZ Best Company, Inc Case Solutions: 1. A review is performed to obtain a reasonable basis for providing limited assurance that the client's financial statements have been prepared in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles. An independent audit is designed to provide a reasonable basis for expressing an opinion concerning whether or not a client’s financial statements have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. There is also a major difference between a review and an audit in terms of the scope of work performed. When a review is done, the main evidence collection techniques are analytical procedures and inquiries of client personnel. Whereas, in an audit, the full range of evidence collection techniques available to an auditor is likely to be used. A review does not assess control risk, tests of accounting records and responses to inquiries by obtaining validating evidence through inspection, observation or any other audit procedure. It can point out significant matters of the financial statements but does not provide assurance of their accuracy. Because reviews are generally not as rigorous as audits, considerably less evidence is typically collected in a review than in a comparable audit engagement. The issue with ZZZZ Best case is that the auditors review was not sufficient enough to review any material misstatements on the financial statements. 2. Third party confirmations......

Words: 1265 - Pages: 6

Zzzz Best

...Zzzz Best Company, Inc. Case 1.9 Zzzz Best Company, Inc. Case 1.9 Case 1.9 ZZZZ Best Company, Inc. Delta. Describe the elements of the Fraud Triangle that apply to this case. Assume you are the perpetrator. Is there a better way to perpetrate this fraud? If there is, describe your method. Specify practical recommendations for the client to prevent this fraud from occurring in the future. The first element of the Fraud Triangle in the case of ZZZZ Best, case 1.9 is Incentives/Pressure. Incentives/Pressure- As a result of the pressure placed on a person who is only a teenager in a tough business, one who faced a lack of working capital, the lack of assets and little profit make it difficult for a person of this stature to achieve financing to produce cash flow for sustaining of operations. One quickly realizes that through fraud a person could obtain funding to sustain operations. Through credit card fraudulent charges and check kiting and to stage theft to fleece one’s insurance company, producing more cash flow, one can raise Is this essay helpful? Join OPPapers to read more and access more than 600,000 just like it! get better grades quick and easy money. Through this experience with these types of fraud, it is realized quickly that one could bypass internal controls and create assets to bolster the company’s financial statements. From this point, with beating the system proving to be so easy, the next step is to forge friendships and......

Words: 369 - Pages: 2

Zzzz Best 5-6

...obtain all of the pertinent facts. For the sake of efficiency, a successor auditor should make sure to inquire of the most important matters. Some of these may include: management integrity, disagreements between the predecessor auditor and management, any possible frauds or other illegal acts charged to the client, strength of internal controls, and the predecessor auditor’s opinion on the change of auditors. The successor auditor may wish to question the predecessor auditor in greater depth, but per SAS 84 (AU315) these matters should be the main focus. 6. Did the confidentially agreement that Minkow required Ernst & Whinney to sign improperly limit the scope of the ZZZZ Best audit? Why or why not. (5 points) The scope of an audit states that the audit is designed to obtain reasonable assurance of no material misstatements. It also requires that auditors discuss the audit evidence acquired and whether they believe the amount of evidence to be appropriate to express an opinion. As discussed earlier, E&W was required to sign a confidentiality agreement precluding them from contacting third parties with regards to ZZZZ Best’s restoration projects. By signing this agreement, E&W effectively allowed ZZZZ Best to limit the scope of their audit. E&W was allowed to visit the restoration sites and view the contracts, but that was the extent of their audit on the contracts because of the agreement. Normally, the auditors may wish to gather more evidence and strengthen......

Words: 610 - Pages: 3