Saturday, 2 August 2014

Slow enforcement, low punishment

I have often complained about slow enforcement and low punishments (often just a reprimand, sometimes a relative small fine) in Malaysia, regarding listed companies.

A recent example of slow enforcement is to be found here, and of low punishments here and here.

However, it is important to notice that all is not well in other countries in the world either.

Two glaring examples just appeared.

Bronte Capital wrote: "Steal three billion dollars, get a 700 thousand dollar fine: the scammers have a better business model - Sino Forest edition".

At its peak, Sino-Forest was the biggest forestry firm on the Toronto Stock Exchange, with a market value of more than $6-billion. It also raised a staggering $3-billion from investors between 2003 and 2010 before falling into creditor protection in 2012.

 Simple question: Where did that $3 billion that was raised go?

Answer: Into someone's pocket.

 Have you made a few billion dollars lately?

 Repeat after me: the fraudsters have a better business model.

In the category "slow enforcement", David Webb provides the following link:

"Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants takes disciplinary action against a certified public accountant (practising), a certified public accountant and a firm of certified public accountants".

This is in relation to poorly executed audits performed on a company in respect of the financial years 1995 until 1997. In other words, almost twenty years ago.

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