The top three corporate villains

Why do we need auditors? If the world was made up exclusively of honest and trustworthy individuals, we would still need audit: Accounting is a specialist area and all organisations can benefit from an auditor’s knowledge and expertise, plus the independent assurance that we offer.

The reality is that the world is not made up exclusively of nice people. Villains abound and here are our top three:

3: Robert Maxwell (1923 – 1991)
This celebrated villain raided the Daily Mirror pension fund for £100 million before falling off a yacht in 1991.
2: Charles Ponzi (1882 – 1949)
Notorious for inventing a pyramid scheme which defrauded thousands of investors out of their money by offering spectacularly high but non existent returns. Where he led, many others, notably Alan Stanford and Bernie Madoff, have followed.
1: Kenneth Lay (1942 – 2006)
Chairman of Enron, the biggest corporate failure of all time. Thirty thousand staff at Enron lost their jobs and their pensions. Other causalities included Andersen, the world’s biggest accounting firm at the time.
Ken Lay


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