This is the second of a two-part series on Westpark Capital, accounting firm MaloneBailey and recent allegations of improper accounting at a handful of Chinese companies. Click here for Part 1 of this story.
When MaloneBailey alleged that it had discovered forged bank documents at more than a third of its 25 Chinese clients, it appeared to happen at the last possible second, just as companies were about to file their annual 10-Ks with the SEC. The late-breaking news sent some executives reeling.
That includes China Electric Motor's CFO, "Dexter" Heung Sang Fong, who spoke with
from his home in Northern California. (Like Fong, many CFOs of Chinese reverse-merger companies live in the U.S., thousands of miles away from their employers.) Fong said that China Electric was set to file its 10-K on Thursday, March 31. As late as Tuesday, one of MaloneBailey's audit partners told China Electric's board that "nothing material" had turned up in the audit and that the company could file as planned -- no worries.
By the following morning, however, the auditor's opinion had radically changed, Fong says. MaloneBailey had found "major discrepancies" in the company's books. The discrepancies involved forged bank documents, the auditor told Fong.
"I was shocked," Fong says.
George Qin, the partner in charge of Chinese clients at MaloneBailey, declined to comment on China Electric Motor or Fong's version of events. But, Qin said, "Our work is very hard. It takes a lot of time. The falsified documents, some of them we might have found at the last minute. But I can assure you. As soon as we found those frauds -- because those are massive frauds -- as soon as we found those, we notified the board of directors."
Fong took over as China Electric's finance chief in June 2010 after serving as a director for the previous six months. The CFO post didn't lead to greater transparency for him -- and Fong, who spent a year as finance chief for another Chinese reverse-merger company called
Apollo Solar Energy
, didn't expect it to.
"To be honest, I have no control or access to the company's bank accounts in China," Fong told
. "Ninety percent of Chinese companies don't let their CFOs have access to bank accounts in China."