– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Well, this is interesting. According to Market Watch, a former Walt Disney Company accountant is making some bold claims against the House of Mouse. Her name is Sandra Kuba and she used to be a senior financial analyst in Disney’s revenue-operations department, and she claimed to the Securities and Exchange Commission that Disney Parks and Resorts “overstated revenue by billions of dollars by exploiting weaknesses in the company’s accounting software.”

So, how did they go about doing this (assuming they did it at all, of course). According to Kuba, there were a couple ways. One way was in recording $500 gift cards for their face value, even if guests paid $395 for them. Additionally, there are instances where employees allegedly recorded revenue twice for gift cards, and instances where revenue is recorded even if the gift cards were handed out for free.

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Apparently, the software used for accounting made the “manipulation” difficult to trace, and she went on to claim that in 2008 to 2009, revenue could have been overstated by as much as $6 billion. That’s a lot in and of itself, but it’s even crazier when you realize the parks-and-resorts business segment made $10.6 billion in revenue in 2009.

Kuba additionally stated that Disney employees “reclassified guest revenue from high-sales-tax items such as hotel rooms to lower-taxed items such as food and beverages with the purpose of significantly reducing sales tax liabilities in Florida, California and Hawaii.”

Kuba reportedly brought this problem to management in 2013, and then escalated them in 2016. She was contacted in November 2016 by Disney’s corporate audit group, but it ultimately went nowhere. In August 2017, she reportedly went to the SEC, and she was fired one month late from Disney.

When asked by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration why she was terminated, Disney responded that “she displayed a pattern of workplace complaints against co-workers without a reasonable basis for doing so, in a manner that was inappropriate, disruptive and in bad faith.”

Regarding all this, a Disney spokesperson said:

“The claims presented to us by this former employee — who was terminated for cause in 2017 — have been thoroughly reviewed by the company and found to be utterly without merit; in fact, in 2018 she withdrew the claim she had filed challenging her termination. We’re not going to dignify her unsubstantiated assertions with further comment.”

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SOURCE: Market Watch

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.