Company officers were named in 81 percent of the enforcement cases brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 2008, according to a study released Tuesday.
Financial executives such as chief financial officers and accounting officers accounted for 44 percent of the individuals alleged to have committed financial statement fraud last year, said the study by the Deloitte Forensic Center. Chief executive officers made up 24 percent of the total.
Deloitte said it analyzed 430 accounting and auditing enforcement releases related to 392 companies and issued by the SEC between January 2000 and December 2008. The study was limited to releases that concerned financial statement fraud, which includes improper disclosures and manipulation of assets and expenses.
Revenue recognition fraud was the most common form of financial statement fraud, accounting for 38 percent of all such schemes, the study found. But since 2003, instances of revenue recognition fraud have fallen in all but one year.
Improper disclosures made up 18 percent of the schemes and manipulation of expenses represented 16 percent, according to the study.
Technology, media and telecommunications companies made up 30 percent of financial statement fraud schemes alleged by the SEC, while consumer businesses made up 29 percent, financial services 18 percent, and life sciences and health care 12 percent.
(Reporting by Dan Margolies; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)