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Financial Statement Fraud Casebook: Baking the Ledgers and Cooking the Books by Joseph T. Wells

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Chapter 29

When Silver Spoons Are Not Enough

A Case Study of Financial Statement Fraud

Walter Pagano and Deborah Kovalik

Manuel Consalado and Maria LaCosta were each born with silver spoons in their mouths, to families who lived in wealthy suburbs of Philadelphia. As is quite ordinary for children of wealthy parents, Manuel and Maria grew up with nannies, chauffeurs, tutors, maids, butlers and others to attend to their daily needs and seamlessly make their lives effortless and less burdensome. Manuel and Maria attended the best early learning and preparatory schools. They also attended the universities that their parents and grandparents attended.

As childhood sweethearts beginning in the eighth grade, Manuel and Maria were inseparable. They were articulate, friendly, intelligent, gifted and, indeed, very fortunate to have the positions in society that their families and social circles enabled them to have. Both of their families were involved in charitable and philanthropic causes and both were accustomed to always getting what they wanted. Manuel and Maria knew of no other existence.

Manuel's higher education and professional interests were in biology and life sciences, and Maria's were in accounting and finance. When they graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, they got married, rented an apartment in Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia and continued their graduate education without having to work, because they were the beneficiaries of trust funds. Manuel completed his ...

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