Sunday, May 4, 2003

ENRON MEETS THE HIPPIES -- AN UPDATE: Anyone remember the whole Weavers Way Co-Op financial crisis this blog covered a few months ago?

Anyway, today's Inquirer Magazine has a comprehensive article on the scandal. How bad was the problem?
The co-op's cash reserve fund was missing $35,000 - and nearly empty. Suppliers and other creditors were owed $265,000. Retirement money withheld from employees' paychecks had not been deposited in 401k accounts. The co-op had been writing bad checks, thousands of them, for years. Chestnut Hill Bank had been covering the checks, but charging fees. Because the checks were being covered by the bank, the co-op's vendors were being paid - usually late, but paid all the same. But the overdraft fees were mountainous. At $32 per check, Weavers Way had spent $91,000 on overdraft fees. Those costs had not been recorded in the co-op's general ledger. All told, Weavers Way was looking at debts of more than $400,000.

As the Co-Op's most recent member update gently puts it, "We have limited confidence in the accuracy of our financial reports going back for a number of years."

Read the article via this link.

Remember, kids: trust, but verify.

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