A Sordid Story at Sunbeam: SEC Probes Accounting Mishaps

The SEC has finished its investigation into the accounting practices that occurred during the reign of Sunbeam's ousted CEO and CFO, and found enough evidence to recommend action.

Although all of us know Sunbeam as a household name in small appliances, the Florida-based company is taking on a new reputation that it doesn't welcome.

The SEC has just finished its probe into the accounting practices stemming from the 1998 dismissal of CEO Al Dunlap and CFO Russell Kersh, and the organization found so many problems that it is recommending action against the company.

One analyst said that the accounting mishaps included booking the revenues before shipping the product in order to boost sales-on-earnings results, and although other practices may not have been necessarily illegal, they were what he called "fairly unscrupulous," including shipping excess products at cut-rate prices just to boost near-term results.

All of this occurred during the era when the CEO and CFO were at the company. Both Dunlap and Kersh claim they did nothing wrong, and their lawyer believes the SEC's findings are not substantiated.

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