Fraudsters: Barry Minkow

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Fraudsters: Barry Minkow

Articles are abound about the 1980s Ponzi scheme regarding Barry Minkow and his ZZZZ Best carpeting firm, a legitimate carpet-cleaning firm that greatly exaggerated its revenues in elaborate schemes to attract millions of dollars in investment. Below is a summary of articles and court decisions that best describe his activities and the cases brought against him and his associates (with minimal overlap).
  • The most thorough article found with regard to the ZZZZ Best scheme is a January 1988 article written by the Los Angeles Times shortly after the indictment of Minkow and ten of his associates. This is the most comprehensive article addressing the scheme.
  • The Los Angeles Times wrote in December 1987 of the first lawsuit brought by investors against ZZZZ Best's law and accountancy firms for professional negligence, which aided Minkow's fraud.
  • A December 1988 article written by the Associated Press shortly after the jury handed down a guilty verdict describes other details from the trial, including Minkow's claim that he was being manipulated by the mob.
  • In 1990, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed securities fraud charges against fourteen defendants in connection with ZZZZ Best's collapse, including allowing ZZZZ Best to overstate its assets.
  • In June 2015, Global Financial data published an article outlining Minkow's fundraising activities, including ZZZZ Best's 1986 Initial Public Offering (IPO). Minkow and his associates were constantly coming up with schemes to misrepresent ZZZZ Best's revenue to investors.
  • Accounting firm Ernst & Young (E&Y) was apparently caught up in the fraud, possibly unwittingly, as it released it released a review of ZZZZ Best's financials for the three months ending July 31, 1986, leading up to the IPO. E&Y was later sued by investors for its involvement.
  • Another lawsuit described the behavior of Minkow is MTS International, Inc., et al. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue. The Background section of this decision describes Minkow's effort's to sell his falsified receivables.
  • In October 1989, the Chicago tribune wrote a review of ''Faking It in America: Barry Minkow and the Great ZZZZ Best Scam'' by Joe Domanick. It is the author's account of Minkow's rise and fall.
  • In August 2001, the Journal of Accountancy published an article highlighted some of the fine points of Minkow's scam and possible red flags that should have raised concerns with investors.
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Sources