Invisible Ink, Hidden Numbers Help Fuzzy Accounting

SEC complaint shows CFO used printouts to fool auditors
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2008 5:59 PM CDT
The SEC had accused Scott Hirth - a former CFO at Voyager Learning, a producer of electronic databases of archived information - of fraudulently boosting recorded revenues and under-reporting costs.   (Shutterstock)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Sometimes high-stakes fraud doesn’t have to be high-tech. The former chief financial officer at a company now called Voyager Learning allegedly cooked the company's books by entering figures as white text on white background—the equivalent of invisible ink, Adam Jones notes in a Financial Times blog.

The Securities and Exchange Commission also says Scott Hirth used a "hide" function on a spreadsheet program that kept fictitious entries hidden when printed. The exec settled with the SEC by paying a fine, though he admitted no wrongdoing.