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cowvin t1_jdgqnm0 wrote

For people who didn't read the article:

> Eckstrom has said the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report exaggerated the state's cash balances for a decade by double counting the money sent to colleges and universities. The mistake went unsolved until a junior staffer fixed the error this fall.

This sounds like straight up incompetence.


wagnus_ t1_jdhesq4 wrote

you really feel that's incompetence? that caliber of quantity is just, red flag alert across the board. that's gotta be deliberate fraudulent activity, no?


sometimes_Oblivious t1_jdhrvib wrote

I agree. It seems like he knew exactly what to "miscount".


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ajt9000 t1_jdilgrm wrote

Depends how it was counted. If it was a bug in a computer program or excel sheet doing the double counting its hard to attribute that to malice. Especially if many people used it.


TheOldGuy59 t1_jdvakdq wrote

In 40+ years in the IT industry both in the military and the private sector, I have NEVER seen a "bug" in a program that would do that to this degree. In every case it's been PEBKAC. People love to blame the computer but it's operator error, every single time. Error or malfeasance that they'll try to blame on the computer as an escape route to avoid prison time.


SlouchyGuy t1_jdhbimg wrote

I wonder if it's the usual story of juniors doing the job, giving the report to senior people who never bother to check or control anything


gopms t1_jdj6rad wrote

It is! I worked at a university and wasn't particularly experienced with accounting and finance but it was part of my new job. I read over all of the rules and guidelines and ran every report so I could get a handle on what was going on and found a glaring anomaly in the accounts when I went to reconcile them at the end of my first month. Money wasn't missing, there was basically a pot of money that hadn't been touched because no one seemed to know it was there and it had no oversight whatsoever. I pointed this out to the bigwigs in finance and they wouldn't believe me. I literally pointed to it on the finance report and they still wouldn't believe me. Multiple times I showed it to them. I used the money over the next couple of years to fund things that should have been funded but weren't and someone finally said "hey gopms where do you find the money for these things?" Me: "That pot of money I told you about multiple times!" They still didn't believe me! 5 years of me pulling rabbits out of hats to pay for things and finally someone said "no really, where is she getting the money from?" They were lucky that I was not stealing it from them


TheOldGuy59 t1_jdvbg90 wrote

I would have escalated this and continued to escalate this as far as I could so that it would never have come back down - shit rolls downhill. I'm assuming you have detailed documentation of every conversation you had with the Wigs to prove you told them? They love to ignore shit until something bad happens, then they look for scapegoats so they don't take the heat for their sloth. If you're not doing that I suggest you start doing it, CYA. I work for a major corporate conglomerate and you'd better believe I do it every single day. The crap I find all the time out there that would mean being terminated and blackballed if it was ever blamed on me is staggering, but execs and managers just get transferred to a new section so they can screw that one up too - the Good Old Boys Club in action.


I won't tell you where I work but I will tell you I'll never fly on an airplane ever again. I've seen the decisions made around here by execs who don't understand anything about what's going on and I don't trust that the same decisions are being made about aircraft components. You couldn't pay me enough to fly anymore.


djdefekt t1_jdhhz4v wrote

If you rtfa a junior found the error and was the whistle blower


SponConSerdTent t1_jdiaul6 wrote

If you drtfa, the real accounting errors were the redditors we met along the way


omgFWTbear t1_jdich4o wrote

Given my experience closely adjacent to similar things elsewhere, I think there are predictable questions of management from the top quashing corrections (which is separate from the article’s text that states the error began and end with the executive) and people fearing for their jobs not whistleblowing or just following orders.


Thecrawsome t1_jdiyyfm wrote

Artificially inflating how much money you have, and looking the other way when it's revealed? Probably more than incompetence. Time to start assuming malicious intent.


chucalaca t1_jdj7ed2 wrote

A decade and No audit was done? No oversight at all? Wonder how much has been embezzled over the last 10 years


TheOldGuy59 t1_jdvcfmv wrote

>State officials testified that Eckstrom ignored auditors' years long warnings of a "material weakness" in his office and flawed cash reporting.


He was ignoring the audits. Which makes me wonder even more, honestly. And the auditors should have escalated this if the guy was obviously ignoring their warnings for years - to the Lt. Governor, and the Governor at least. And the SC Secretary of State, etc. EVERYONE should have been on the line for this - hell, they should have notified the SC State Assembly! This is a failing on multiple levels where the Comptroller fails, but everyone else who refused to press the issue also failed.


I'm suspicious of "The Buck Stopped with Eckstrom" statement, no one is asking why the auditors didn't continue to escalate this up the chain of command until it was resolved.


MiraniaTLS t1_jdfal15 wrote

Should’ve read that book before he made the error.


davtruss t1_jdguht8 wrote

I was gonna say, flashing "Accounting for Dummies" in a public place is the kind of thing that makes people unsympathetic when one screws up the accounting.


ArmChairAnalyst86 t1_jdfl58q wrote

Oops. Forgot to carry a 1 or 2. That's all, I'm sure he's just incompetent, not corrupt.


TheOldGuy59 t1_jdvcv9p wrote

"A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money." -- Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen, (R) Illinois


ryanCrypt t1_jdff9bo wrote

And who hasn't made a little mistake at work?


x925 t1_jdhtxcc wrote

I once accidentally knocked out cell service for 4 hours. Had to open a splicing case and connect another house to the network and I broke a few fibers without noticing. That was a fun day at work. And before anyone asks, they were broke in the heat shrink so it was hard to see.


ajt9000 t1_jdilm36 wrote

I had a coworker accidentally mark every inmate in a jail to be released, and then fix it before anyone noticed.


HypnoSmoke t1_jdj587e wrote

Lol, I want more stories like this. That sounds like a helluva panic-inducing mistake


ryanCrypt t1_jdi9afp wrote

We have our topic for the next nottheonion article.


Sprucecaboose2 t1_jdi6gp0 wrote

A $3.5 billion tiny oopsy! I know that's almost the same as the time I restarted the AD server for updates in the middle of the day!


Plusran t1_jdfyuc4 wrote

I’m sorry but three and a half billion is not an oversight, that’s money laundering.


hillarysabortedson t1_jdg6b8z wrote

How, exactly, would you envision this being money laundering. Especially with an overstatement by $3.5B?


redldr1 t1_jdgra2p wrote

Get some of those industrial size washing machines, the kind used in resort hotels that can wash 60 full sets of sheets. Add cash, coins, pocket lint, and a handful of cocaine.

Money laundered


davtruss t1_jdgu9iz wrote

Hold on, you meant million, right? Not BILLION with a B? :)


-domi- t1_jdfly9z wrote

I dunno what a comp is, but that sounds like some successful trolling.


[deleted] t1_jdfg8qp wrote



BaltimoreBadger23 t1_jdfi6m5 wrote

The comptroller oversees expenses, the treasurer oversees revenue.


[deleted] t1_jdfj3zy wrote



SilasX t1_jdfoaxy wrote

Why is this something that's elected? What voter opinion would be relevant here?

"Oh yeah, I just love how Jack Johnson does accrual accounting, it really reflects the values of South Carolina. I mean, not the slavery stuff, but the good ones."

Edit: My state does it too, which also doesn't make sense.


TheOldGuy59 t1_jdvdo5f wrote

"Jack sez uses base eight fer hiz figgers cuz he's missin' a toe on each foot. Naw, it wasn't no ackserdint, he was jes bawn that way. No, he don't use his fangers fer cipherin, one's bizzy writin tha cipherin and the other he's scratchin hiz ear wif."


BaltimoreBadger23 t1_jdfja1g wrote

I think in SC comptroller is also elected. In Maryland the Comptroller is elected and the treasurer is appointed.


PatersBier t1_jdinfy4 wrote

Yes, the comptroller is elected in SC. They have been talking about making it an appointed position. I couldn't believe he resisted the calls to resign for so long.


MonkeyTacoBreath t1_jdgj6k7 wrote

It's okay, turns out, the missing billions that should have gone to fund lunch programs for starving children went to more worthy source, to fund a volley ball stadium for Brett Farve's daughter's college.


Random_Average__Guy t1_jdgx2xp wrote

And he can just resign ??


monty_kurns t1_jdhxjfa wrote

There's definitely going to be an investigation into this. Resigning was pretty much to avoid having the legislature vote to remove him from the office. Basically it's so he can say he stepped down rather than being fired.


felixlightner t1_jdgfeah wrote

Why is everyone being mean to me? It was "just" $3.5 billion. :(


Turious t1_jdgtjj3 wrote

Dude was out of comptrol...


rohnoitsrutroh t1_jdhdwp3 wrote

>The Senate report concluded that Eckstrom was solely responsible for the mapping error, which happened during the state's transition to a new internal information system from 2011 to 2017. State officials testified that Eckstrom ignored auditors' yearslong warnings of a "material weakness" in his office and flawed cash reporting.

Not sure what the laws are for this; however, I'm guessing that criminal charges wouldn't be a stretch for mismanagement of public funds at this scale.

In a private company, I'm guessing a regulatory agency would be in your office the next day if this sort of accounting error was reported.

Any CPAs out there who could shed some light?


Citizen-Kang t1_jdg1nvv wrote

What's a few zeros between friends, amirite?


Purpleshlurpy t1_jdhvy7j wrote

Oversight? Screw oversight... South Carolina state Gov't is too busy trying to figure out ways to implement the death penalty for women that receive abortions.


jh937hfiu3hrhv9 t1_jdfebmb wrote

So I fell asleep on the zero key. It's a boring job.


drkidkill t1_jdflsnf wrote

I wonder if he was friends with Alex murderaugh.


bradorsomething t1_jdgc1zs wrote

Is racism no longer counted as a business expense?


Rogue_elefant t1_jdhlt78 wrote

Wtf is a comptroller?


hippyengineer t1_jdj1f65 wrote

Apparently they oversee the expenses of the state government. And the treasurer oversees the revenue.


jackson71 t1_jdhv2fl wrote

Republican Sen. Larry Grooms, who led the investigation, said the comptroller general's office could also be "done away with altogether."


VanDenBroeck t1_jdhxmg3 wrote

My goodness. South Carolina certainly has some interesting news coming out of it these days.


SpareWorld t1_jdixbdo wrote

You have to be a real low-life piece of shit to get involved in politics