Satyam Outsourcing Fraud Rocks India, Lessons Learned

B. Ramalinga Raju, founder and chairman of Satyam Computer Services Ltd. — “satyam” means truth in Sanskrit — said in a letter of resignation that he overstated profits for the past several years, overstated the amount of debt owed to the company and understated its liabilities.

The front page of today’s Wall Street Journal online carries the breaking story of the chairman of one of India’s largest information technology companies and his admission that he concocted key financial results including a fictitious cash balance of more than $1 billion, a revelation that sent shock waves across corporate India and is likely to prompt investors to question the validity of corporate results as the once-hot Indian economy slows.

The news prompted concerns about corporate governance and accounting standards across Indian industry, especially since Satyam was audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers and had high-profile independent directors, including a Harvard Business School professor, on its board until recently.

Investors are also mulling the impact of any move to keep jobs at home by the Democratic administration of President-elect Barack Obama, and the terrorist attacks on India’s financial capital, Mumbai. Satyam’s decline comes at a tough time for India’s flagship technology companies, which have come to symbolize the nation’s own aspirations as a commercial superpower and a major force in global outsourcing and data management.

The industry, while only directly employing about two million of India’s 1.1 billion population, helped build a thriving services sector in buzzing metropolises such as Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad.

More broadly, bankers and analysts said the economic slowdown in India may prompt further unwelcome revelations from Indian companies, some of which have grown from small, family-operated enterprises to major international corporations in just a few years and may not have developed the corporate governance and transparency standards that international investors expect.

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Michael F. Arrigo

Michael Arrigo brings four decades of experience in the software, financial services, and healthcare industries. In 2000, Mr. Arrigo founded No World Borders, a healthcare data, regulations, and economics firm with clients in the pharmaceutical, medical device, hospital, surgical center, physician group, diagnostic imaging, genetic testing, health IT, and health insurance markets. His expertise spans the federal health programs Medicare and Medicaid and private insurance. He advises Medicare Advantage Organizations who provide health insurance under Part C of the Medicare Act. Mr. Arrigo serves as an expert witness regarding medical coding and medical billing, fraud damages, as well as electronic health record software for the U.S. Department of Justice. He has valued well over $1 billion in medical billings in personal injury liens, medical malpractice, insurance fraud cases. The U.S. Court of Appeals considered Mr. Arrigo's opinion regarding loss amounts, vacating, and remanding sentencing in a fraud case. Mr. Arrigo provides expertise in the Medicare Secondary Payer Act, Medicare LCDs, anti-trust litigation, medical intellectual property and trade secrets, HIPAA privacy, health care electronic claim data Standards, physician compensation, Anti-Kickback Statute, Stark law, the Affordable Care Act, False Claims Act, and the ARRA HITECH Act. Arrigo advises investors on merger and acquisition (M&A) diligence in the healthcare industry on transactions cumulatively valued at over $1 billion. Mr. Arrigo spent over ten years in Silicon Valley software firms in roles from Product Manager to CEO. He was product manager for a leading-edge database technology joint venture that became commercialized as Microsoft SQL Server, Vice President of Marketing for a software company when it grew from under $2 million in revenue to a $50 million acquisition by a company now merged into Cincom Systems, hired by private equity investors to serve as Vice President of Marketing for a secure email software company until its acquisition and multi $million investor exit by a company now merged into Axway Software SA (Euronext: AXW.PA), and CEO of one of the first cloud-based billing software companies, licensing its technology to Citrix Systems (NASDAQ: CTXS). Later, before entering the healthcare industry, he joined Fortune 500 company Fidelity National Financial (NYSE: FNF) as a Vice President, overseeing eCommerce solutions for the mortgage banking industry. While serving as a Vice President at Fortune 500 company First American Financial (NYSE: FAF), he oversaw eCommerce and regulatory compliance technology initiatives for top ten mortgage banks and led the Sarbanes Oxley Act Section 302 internal controls IT audit for the company, supporting Section 404 of the Sarbanes Oxley Act. Mr. Arrigo earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. Before that, he studied computer science, statistics, and economics at the University of California, Irvine. His post-graduate studies include biomedical ethics at Harvard Medical School, biomedical informatics at Stanford Medical School, blockchain and crypto economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and training as a Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA). Mr. Arrigo is qualified to serve as a director due to his experience in healthcare data, regulations, and economics, his leadership roles in software and financial services public companies, and his healthcare M&A diligence and public company regulatory experience. Mr. Arrigo is quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, Kaiser Health News, Consumer Affairs, National Public Radio (NPR), NBC News Houston, USA Today / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Medical Economics, Capitol ForumThe Daily Beast, the Lund Report, Inside Higher Ed, New England Psychologist, and other press and media outlets. He authored a peer-reviewed article regarding clinical documentation quality to support accurate medical coding, billing, and good patient care, published by Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) and is published in Healthcare IT News.

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