Corporate fraud didn't start with Enron, Tyco, and WorldCom and it didn't end with them, either. Fraud is rampant in the technology industry. What most employees, investors, and consumers don't realize is how much it costs them.
Excuse me for stating the obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people think there's some magic pile of dough somewhere that pays for companies to comply with investigations, contest charges, and remedy issues. In fact, the costs are born primarily by the corporation. That means it comes right out of shareholders' and employees' pockets. Consumers also pay, albeit indirectly.
And yes, we're talking about costs that materially impact earnings, balance sheets, and cash flow. We're talking about internal and outside lawyers, accountants, consultants, crisis PR, D&O (directors and officers) insurance, Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, exit packages, and even recruiting costs to replace executives.
Of course, the biggest cost is in terms of loss of market capitalization.… Read more