Monday, May 19, 2008

PricewaterhouseCoopers Abets Overstock.com Deceptions

The latest Sam Antar blog item item today is a shocker. While it's scarcely news that the slo-mo train wreck Overstock.com is a serial deceiver, both in its public statements and in its SEC filings, it now appears that the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers had a hand in the chicanery, by failing to catch egregious errors.

The firm was paid $611,000 in 2006 and $761,000 in 2007 to help Overstock grapple with SEC inquiries.

Sam points out:
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP either missed Overstock.com's deliberate noncompliance with GAAP in reporting revenues or colluded with the company to report non-GAAP revenues. In addition, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP helped Overstock.com provide erroneous responses to information requested by the SEC Division of Corporation Finance. What's worse is that despite Overstock.com's deliberate noncompliance with GAAP in revenue reporting and errors in responses to the SEC, under PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP's supposedly watchful eye, Allison H. Abraham claims that "The Audit Committee has had substantial opportunity to evaluate the work of PricewaterhouseCoopers and has found it to be consistent and of high quality."
The only question is whether Overstock's deceptions, as detailed by Sam, are going to be swallowed by the SEC.


© 2008 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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