By: Donald V. Watkins
Copyrighted and Published on March 21, 2023
An Editorial Opinion
Many of my readers think the core problems at the Southern Company emanated from the rampant misconduct of past and present Alabama Power Company executives. While their unlawful conduct was captivating, sometimes titillating, and often despicable, it pales in comparison to the unreported “insider” transactions and massive, multi-year, accounting fraud schemes the Southern Company has perpetrated for the past decade.
My upcoming articles will shine a spotlight on unreported “insider” deals by Southern Company board members and senior management executive officers. They will also breakdown the fundamental elements of the company's massive accounting fraud schemes.
I am nearly done reviewing the Southern Company’s regulatory filings, financial statements, library of board minutes, and sea of other relevant corporate documents. My job now is to write my upcoming news articles in a way that every reader can easily understand the "insider" transactions in question and digest the financial reports that Southern Company submitted to: (a) state and federal regulators, (b) Wall Street lenders and investors, and (c) the U.S. Department of Energy.
My experience with the 2003-2005 HealthSouth $2.7 billion accounting fraud scandal was an invaluable one. It trained me on how to detect and analyze sophisticated corporate accounting fraud schemes -- the ones that evade detection by auditors like Deloitte & Touche.
The Southern Company’s accounting fraud schemes encompass at least $27 billion in fraud over a ten-year period. In my humble opinion, the company's financial books and records have been cooked, and they are “well done.”
Board members apparently didn’t notice the cooked books because they were too busy corralling “insider” deals for themselves.
The Southern Company is dripping with conflicts of interest at the board level and "insider" deals within the ranks of top management. They might as well use the Southern Company's Code of Ethics as window dressing. It apparently serves no other purpose.
This is one hot mess! Now that the Alabama Power Company "appetizers" have been served, the Southern Company's main "entrees" will be coming your way soon.