Saturday, November 28, 2009

Canopy Financial ... another scam discovered too late

We are just learning of yet another firm that scammed millions from investors: Canopy Financial. They forged audit reports from KPMG, who apparently WASN'T their auditor. We haven't yet heard whether they also claimed GIPS(R) compliance,  so have no way of knowing whether their alleged chicanery extended quite this far.

Canopy had been featured in BusinessWeek and managed to be ranked #12 on Inc's 500 List.

Even though GIPS verifications aren't "designed to detect fraud," they can provide an extra level of confidence in the manager's credibility. We aren't advocating the verification be extended to include fraud detection, but believe that verifiers can serve as an extra level of scrutiny.

Who would have thought to call KPMG to check to ensure that they had, in fact, audited Canopy? Some additional checking may be necessary going forward, especially with certain firms, to help catch these guys quicker. Unfortunately, we can't control shameful behavior, but we have to figure out ways to catch it. In this case, their investment bank actually helped them raises tens of millions of dollars. Is someone asleep at the wheel? Unclear at this time, but we're sure more will be forthcoming. While this doesn't rise to the level of a Bernie Madoff scam, many were no doubt impacted by it.


  1. A company could also forge a verification letter and easily claim GIPS compliance / examination as well.

    GIPS and GAAS focus too much emphasis on the firm doing the right thing. Its time that both of these governing rules emphasis client's responsibility as well. In my opinion, the first thing we need to remind investors are: "Fraud" exists.

  2. Anonymous said...


    Great article in the link you posted. Thanks for that with your readers. The WSJ says Canopy is a 'health care banking services company'. Your piece says that 'We haven't yet heard whether they also claimed GIPS(R) compliance, so have no way of knowing whether their alleged chicanery extended quite this far.'

    Can a non investment manager issuing its own legitimate securities claim compliance with these standards in your view?

    December 10, 2009 12:33 PM

  3. I missed that detail...sorry. I don't know enough about the firm other than that they have a scam. I was basing my comments on their name and the brief intro. Sorry for any confusion.


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