A Fortune 500 CFO admits to having deliberately treated $4 billion in operating expenses as assets, thereby allowing the corporation to show profits instead of losses. The auditor never detects this. The corporation’s stock drops 95 percent and bond covenants related to billions in debt are breached. At its peak price last year, the CFO sold stock (acquired through options) for $15 million, generating a $10 million gain.
a. Why might the corporation have to file for bankruptcy protection?
b. What provisions of the securities law could be the basis for a class- action lawsuit by the stockholders?
c. Why will the 1995 Act probably not stop a class- action lawsuit from proceeding to the discovery phase?
d. Why will the CFO be subject to criminal (as well as civil) securities sanctions?
e. Will the SEC likely ever allow the CFO to be an officer or director of a publicly traded corporation in the future?
f. Will the SEC allow the CFO to keep the $10 million gain on the stock?
g. What kind of civil penalties could the SEC impose on the CFO?

  • CreatedOctober 02, 2015
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