Audit firms are required by their professional standards to consider the possibility that the financial statements contain fraudulent misstatements and/or omissions. The auditing standards contain a number of indicators, or “flags,” that should alert auditors to the risk of fraud. PwC is likely beginning its client retention and planning for year-end audits right about now.

PwC client Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is throwing off an extraordinary plume of fraud-risk indicators that is visible from deep space; red flags, orange flags, floating pink flags at high tide. As an artistic achievement, this colorful extravaganza might make Christo and Jeanne-Claude green with envy. Somehow we don’t think PwC will have the same reaction.

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