NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- When Anthony "Tino" De Angelis, a soybean-oil magnate based in Bayonne, New Jersey, wanted to fool his auditors, he filled his warehouse tanks almost to the brim with water, then floated a few yards of oil on top. Uncritical auditors took a peek into a handful of those tanks, saw what they'd come to see, and signed off on the De Angelis audit: all clear.With his assets officially sanctified by his accounting firm, De Angelis used those Bayonne assets as collateral for loans from many banks, including Chase Manhattan. And he used the funds from those loans to attempt a bold ploy: the cornering of the soybean-oil market. The inevitable collapse of his scam brought American Express (AXP) (one of his creditors) to its knees; its stock lost half its value. Two Wall Street brokerages went belly up. Fifty banks failed.
Accounting Fraud: A 'How-To' Guide
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