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Internal Probe Results Say Only Two People Responsible, And Both Are Fired
Numerous press reports this morning reveal that the internal forensic investigation by Royal Ahold into accounting irregularities at its US Foodservice division has revealed that just two people were responsible for the misstatements of profit, and that the company will raise its estimate of overstated profit from $500 million to $880 million.

The two executives, Mark P. Kaiser, chief marketing officer, and Timothy Lee, executive vice president for purchasing, both had been suspended pending the results of the investigation. Both now have been fired, according to the company.

US Foodservice CEO James Miller has been cleared of any wrongdoing or knowledge of other people's wrongdoing.

However, external investigations into the company's accounting practices continue, with separate probes being conducted by the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to The Washington Post, those investigations are specifically looking at executives who supervised Kaiser and Lee.
KC's View:
Forensic investigation? We don’t think so.

Where are the folks from CSI? Hell, bring back Quincy! (We'd settle for Elliot Ness…)

Maybe we're just jaded and cynical beyond redemption, but none of this makes any sense. And even if you accept that somehow Kaiser and Lee are criminal masterminds on the scale of Lex Luthor, capable of a near-billion-dollar accounting fraud, Miller's lack of culpability remains very difficult to accept.

Tell you one thing, though. Ahold's internal probe results better stick. Because if the government uncovers additional problems, and the internal investigation turns out to be a cover up, the news will only get worse for Ahold, and will hurt even those parts of the company that have been doing business properly.

Remember, it's always the cover up that gets you.