cooking the books

Definition

Knowingly providing incorrect information in a company's financial statements. Illegal.

Use cooking the books in a sentence

You should never do anything that may get you accused of cooking the books or your reputation may be damaged.

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After an investigation that lasted a couple of years, the accounting team at the firm was busted for cooking the books, and the scandal drove the stock downward.

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The Enron scandal shook up the business world when it's officers were caught cooking the books on the failing company and thereby defrauding all of their investors.

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