How do you detect and prevent insider (CEO) fraud?
By now you've heard that Satyam Chairman B. Ramalinga Raju resigned on Jan. 6, 2009 after confessing to inflating the company's profits and padding the balance-sheet with "fictitious" assets and $1 billion of nonexistent cash for years.
1. How can this happen over and over again?
2. What can technology do to detect and prevent insider fraud?
3. What can business people do to stop this?
4. What MUST we do to prevent another Satyam, Enron, etc.?
On Wednesday, the basics of the scandal were circumscribed by the four-and-a-half page letter from former CEO B. Ramalinga Raju to the Bombay Stock Exchange — admitting to a scam that involved his creation of a $1-billion cash entry on the books. The fraud, he wrote, "attained unmanageable proportions in size." And he compared his own position as CEO of a fraud-infected company as having been "like riding a tiger, not knowing how to get off without being eaten."
Satyam is India's fourth-largest software-services provider. They (used to) employ 53,000 people, operate in 65 countries, and serve almost 700 companies, including 185 Fortune 500 companies.
More than half of its revenues come from the US.
Raju said no board member knew what he was doing. PricewaterhouseCoopers audited the books and said they did nothing wrong.