Moulin was an eyewear manufacturer, distributor and retailer that had been listed in Hong Kong since 1993. Its shares were suspended in April 2005 when its auditor, Deloitte, resigned having raised concerns during the audit of its 2004 results on several issues including the authenticity of sales documentation. (Deloitte’s had only been appointed a few months previously following the resignation of Ernst & Young ostensibly after a failure to agree audit fees.) The company blamed the problems were due to reduced manpower; it blamed a junior employee for forging documents, as the originals had been lost, although they related to genuine transactions.
By June 2005, lenders had called in their loans and provisional liquidators had been appointed. Court case revealed massively inflated sales using bogus customers and long jail sentences for the key directors involved. A subsequent court judgement found evidence of false accounting by management involving fake transactions, as well as the destruction and falsification of company records. Cash balances were non-existent. The court concluded that this had been going on for many years. Six people were ultimately jailed for fraud including the chairman and his chief executive son.
Moulin: Interim Results Jun 2004; Annual Report Mar 2000