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“I don’t think that the shareholders of Enron would think it would have been such a bad deal if somebody would have caught that before it bankrupted the company and they lost everything they had.” The corporate whistleblower is at once a celebrated and tortured figure in American culture.
“It is absolutely in the shareholders’ best interests to have the most accurate financial statements they can have,” Schlicksup replied.Morton is the hub of a global network of 25 parts warehouses, from which Caterpillar boasts of shipping 99 percent of orders within 24 hours.Along with Geneva and Peoria, Morton goes to the heart of the criminal investigation. Around the time Schlicksup arrived in Geneva, Caterpillar embarked on a dramatic change in that accounting, led by Robin Beran, a tax manager in Peoria.Caterpillar’s Geneva operation is in an elegant marble-and-glass building facing the Parc de la Grange on Lake Geneva.It was the base for Caterpillar Overseas SA, formed in 1960 to develop a global dealer network.In the the spring of 2008, finance executives from Caterpillar Inc.
gathered for a few days of meetings in the Peoria Civic Center, a few blocks from company headquarters.
Bright and inquisitive, with a knack for numbers, he earned degrees in finance and law from Northern Illinois University, then a master of laws from Chicago-Kent College of Law.
After several years in Chicago with the accounting company Arthur Andersen LLP, Schlicksup moved back to Peoria and worked on the Caterpillar account for Pw C.
A spokeswoman says, “Caterpillar believes its tax position is right.
We are in the process of responding to the government’s concerns and hope to be in a position to bring this matter to resolution within a reasonable time frame.”Schlicksup, now 55, parted ways with Caterpillar five years ago.
For years, Caterpillar accountants credited the Geneva office with 15 percent of the profits on parts sales, while the other 85 percent was allocated as earnings in the U. The company paid an effective tax rate of a little less than 30 percent on those U. With the encouragement of Pw C, where he’d once worked, and the law firm Mc Dermott Will & Emery LLP, Beran reorganized the Geneva operation as Caterpillar Société à Responsabilité Limitée LLC, or CSARL.