Accounting Fraud


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You may have well-founded worries about what the impact of your organization’s financial losses would mean if they became public. However, if you work for a public company and manipulate your company’s financial data to deceive investors or protect your job, you can risk a federal accounting fraud indictment.

Federal agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission often probe a company’s financial statements for a lengthy time before prosecutors move in with an indictment. They will bring charges against you when they have the evidence they believe will result in your conviction. As a result, you may be facing a prosecutor armed with very damaging evidence. This makes it especially important to retain an attorney as early as you can.

Federal Accounting Fraud

Federal law makes it illegal to present financial information in a deceptive manner or manipulate your corporation’s numbers in a way that would mislead.

For example, you want people to buy stock in your company so you falsify the sales figures in your annual report to make it look like your sales grew by 50 percent when you really had losses. If you mislead in this way, you could be arrested for accounting fraud.

Other examples of accounting fraud include:

  • Representing losses as less then they are
  • Representing expenses as less than they are
  • Representing liabilities as less than they are
  • Hiding assets to avoid taxes
  • Hiding executive gifts or bonuses
  • Inflating assets
  • Inflating income
  • Reporting sales as a fact when they have not yet been completed


If you are convicted of federal accounting fraud, you face years in prison and/or substantial fines. Intentionally violating US securities laws can draw a sentence for an individual of up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $5,000,000. Corporations can be fined up to $25,000,000.

How A Lawyer Will Help

When you are up against a fraud charge, you will be facing inflexible laws and a determined US prosecutor. You will need an attorney who can help you determine all of your options and achieve the best outcome for your circumstances.

United States Code

Read more about federal criminal offenses in the United States Code.

Questions? Contact us today.

If you are charged with a federal crime, the consequences can be devastating. Fienman Defense will fight tenaciously to protect your constitutional rights. We will guide you through a court system that can be complex and intimidating, and provide you with the strongest possible defense.