Equity Funding

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Equity Funding Corporation of America was a Los Angeles-based U.S. financial conglomerate that marketed a package of mutual funds and life insurance to private individuals in the 1960s and 70s. It collapsed in scandal in 1973 after ex-employee Ronald Secrist and securities analyst Ray Dirks blew the whistle on massive accounting fraud, including a computer system dedicated exclusively to creating and maintaining fictitious insurance policies. Investigation found that from 1964 onward, as many as 100 company employees had engaged in organized deception of investors, auditors, reinsurers and regulatory authorities.

An important sidelight was the filing of insider trading charges against whistleblower Dirks. The ensuing case of Raymond L. Dirks v. Securities and Exchange Commission went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court where Dirks was finally acquitted. The case has been termed historic in helping to define insider trading, as well as the treatment of whistleblowers, analysts and the press.

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References[edit]

  • The Great Wall Street Scandal. By Raymond L. Dirks and Leonard Gross. New York: McGraw Hill Book Company, 1974.
  • The Impossible Dream: The Equity Funding Story; The Fraud of the Century. By Ronald L. Soble and Robert E. Dallos. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1975.

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