Missing Madoff Accountant: “Don’t Cheat!”


If there’s one thing David Friehling really couldn’t stand, it was a cheater. At least that’s what the CPA who served as the accountant to Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi Scheme says in a column he wrote for “The Trusted Professional,” the now ironically named newsletter of the Rockland County branch of the New York State Society of CPAs.

“When we see our clients and they ask us to stretch the truth, we are just cheating ourselves,” Friehling wrote in April.

The column, written in the midst of tax season for accountants, urges them to avoid allowing clients to cheat on taxes, in part because revenue shortfalls will only impoverish future generations. Read on:

“Maybe we should remind our clients that in addition to upholding our ethical standards and keeping our professional licence, we are a key part of a system that relies on us as citizens to pay our fair share of the tax burden to fund services that operate to the betterment of all of us. At the micro-level, here’s the potential trade-off—a bridge that is substandard versus an extra $500 in charitable donations on schedule A. The fact is that the answer to any concerns we may have about inefficiencies in government spending will not be met by nickel and diming the government’s allowance. In fact, any shortfall in revenue only comes back to bite us and our offspring as the deficit increases.”

If you can’t get enough of this, click here to read the entire column.