Hall of Shame


AutoChina International (YUANF US)

Year: 2011

Car leasing business, AutoChina, was the product of a 2009 reverse merger. In 2011, a Seeking Alpha blogger called The Forensic Factor accused the company of suspicious accounting, large related-party transactions, a labyrinthine corporate structure and shady management. This appears to have led to an SEC investigation partly prompted by AutoChina's incoming auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers ("PwC"), which was subsequently dismissed. This resulted in the chairman being charged with share manipulation in 2012 and found guilty in 2014. Earn-out provisions highlighted by the short-seller and PwC were restated but the more serious accusations relating to fraud do not appear to have been proven. In 2014, the company ventured into P2P lending, closing down its traditional leasing business in 2015 and changing its name to Fincera. In 2019, it was ordered to shut down this business and the chairman was arrested by Chinese authorities for financial crimes. Its auditor Marcum Bernstein & Pinchuk was dismissed and then withdrew its opinion for FY17 and FY18 financials. The company has gone dark since early 2020. 

Last updated August 2021

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