KPMG insider trading update – 4-15-13 – fibbing about college baseball?

As most CPAs scramble to take care of the last few details tonight, I’ll give a quick summary of the news about Mr. Scott London, the now-former partner from KPMG who allegedly was engaged in some insider trading.

Not much news over the last few days after a frantic week. I haven’t seen anyone come up with a vaguely plausible answer to “why?”

Here’s a bit of update:

Francine McKenna has a recap of the last week in her post Early Returns: Scott London, KPMG and Another Partner Trading on Inside Information. The article provides background on three other insider trading messes created by Big 4 partners.

She also gives me a shout out for my coverage and links to two posts. Thanks!

Wall Street Journal reporter Jean Eaglesham says the Scott London case illustrates that the Limits of Insider Probes Expand. Bringing surveillance, video recording, and wiretaps to the table for a so-called small insider trading case shows the seriousness such cheating is gathering from the feds.

The article points out that

Since October, the Securities and Exchange Commission has filed 26 civil cases for insider trading … The total number of people and firms accused by the SEC of insider trading since October 2009 has grown to more than 430.

The techniques otherwise seen in organized crime cases combined with the level of detail in the indictment and adding a photo as an exhibit seem to point toward sending a message.  Seems like the feds want everyone to know they are serious – don’t do insider trading.

Fibbing about college baseball experience

The Huffington Post reports Scott London, KPMG Partner Accused of Insider Trading, Lied About Baseball Career.

Key paragraph says Mr. London claimed to be on the baseball team in college. That claim was made in a press release from the Los Angeles Sports Council when they announced Mr. London had been elected chairman of that NPO in 2011.

Only problem is that the college went through their old media documents and couldn’t find him listed as a player anywhere.

The article points out that info first surfaced in an article in the Los Angeles Times, Ex-KPMG partner was sting target. Check out the third to last paragraph.

I really don’t understand that part of the story. It is just so easy to check things like what sports you played in college. Why make that up? It doesn’t add anything and isn’t necessary.

(hat tip: Going Concern.)


I’ll circle back later to discuss the posts that ponder the implications. For the moment you can check out:

Re:Balance – KPMG’s Independence, Herbalife’s Stock Price, and the Game of Name Blame. Jim Peterson discusses the lack of any impact on stock prices from the auditor of one of the clients losing independence and the likely impact of the fiasco on the push to disclose partner’s names, an issue which he asserts has no impact on the broken audit model.

Grumpy Old Accountants – Insider Trading or Lack of Transparency: Which is the Bigger Sin? Professor Anthony Catanach ponders the independence issue and what could be so wrong as to lead someone into this mess.

Far, far too much in each column to even start giving justice in one sentence. Guess you need to check them out yourself. I’ll come back to those later.

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