Treasury Today Country Profiles in association with Citi

CFOs behaving badly…again

Ok, so it’s not another story about strippers (sorry) but there have been a number of naughty CFOs caught red handed recently.

In the last month alone we have seen the CFO of Pearl Jam’s management company charged with 33 counts of theft. Rickey Charles Goodrich managed to steal $380,000 from the firm over the course of four years before being ‘found out’ and fired.

Then the CFO of one of the US’s largest private mortgage companies – Taylor Bean – was sentenced to five years in prison for his role in a $3 billion fraud scheme. Delton de Armas was found guilty of ‘dodgy’ accounting as part of the scheme, which ultimately led to the company’s collapse, as well as the downfall of Alabama-based Colonial Bank.

We’ve also seen CFOs admitting to making payments to Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi government, providing misleading information to industry bodies and regulators, and – in one extreme case – brandishing a baseball bat at the CEO. The latter was allegedly accompanied by the immortal words: “you wanna talk, let’s talk”!

And let’s not forget the former CFO of Philadelphia archdiocese, who is due to be sentenced next month for embezzling more than $900,000 from the church. Anita Guzzardi, 42, had just been promoted to the role of CFO when she was arrested, but had apparently been using church cheques to pay off her credit card bills between 2005 and 2011.

Surprisingly though, nothing about ‘committing a giant fraud’ appeared in the most recent edition of Deloitte’s CFO Signals, entitled ‘What North America’s top finance executives are thinking – and doing’. How remiss!