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The Daily

Subtle Name Change Fails to Evade Accounting Ban From SEC

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Aug 20, 2015
NameTagWhile we may ordinarily applaud someone's passion for accounting work, in the case of a man who was previously banned from the profession by the SEC for embezzling millions, but kept practicing anyway, we'll make an exception. The Wall Street Journal reports that Stephen P. Corso promised in 2009 to never practice as a licensed accountant again after pleading guilty to stealing more than $5 million from his clients and becoming a mob informant to lessen his sentence. However, the Journal said, as soon as he got out of jail, after having spent less than a year there, he changed his name to Steven John Corso and used falsified credentials to keep practicing as an accountant, apparently under the illusion that his subtle name change was so clever no one would ever think he's the same guy. Corso, under his new name, provided accounting and consulting services to three different companies, some already public and others seeking to go public, in 2010. He also held a CFO position from Feb. 2014 to June 2015. 

The SEC was able to prove the two Steves were the same person by showing checks drawn from Steven John Corso's bank account to pay alimony for Stephen P. Corso's ex-wife, and restitution to the U.S. District Court, which he had been ordered to pay after his guilty plea. The SEC also discovered he used a driver's license saying he was Stephen Corso to pay a $206.49 bill from Whole Foods via check in 2011 (and no doubt holding up everyone in line behind him as he did so). 

The SEC is seeking to force Corso to give up all the money he allegedly got working as an accountant since 2009 when he switched names.