The Walt Disney Company is one of the largest corporations in the world and is, therefore, no stranger to lawsuits.
In the recent past, the company has faced, among other things, a discrimination lawsuit, a lawsuit about the Disney Junior Muppet Babies television show, and a lawsuit regarding pandemic face mask requirements in Disney Store locations.
Now, a former Walt Disney Company accountant has filed a federal lawsuit for compensation after accusing the company of “shoddy” accounting practices. Sandra Kuba first blew the whistle on Disney last year and claimed she lost everything after speaking out. A GoFundMe was even started to help provide her with financial support at one point earlier this year.
Ex-senior financial analyst Kuba filed her recent federal lawsuit against Disney Financial Services on Tuesday, February 16, 2021. Her lawsuit asks for various damages, including back pay and reimbursement for legal fees. According to the Orlando Sentinel:
“On a number of occasions throughout her career, (Kuba) reported her concerns about Disney’s policies, practices, and procedures that she genuinely and reasonably believed were unethical, improper or illegal to Disney’s management,” she said in her lawsuit. “Each time, (Kuba) suffered from harassment, hostility and retaliation as a result.”
Their report continued with these details:
The lawsuit said Kuba believed Disney was manipulating its books. Kuba said she noticed revenue reported several times for the same transaction and “nonsense entries that camouflaged the altered transactions flow created by Financial Systems.”
The department that runs Disney’s internal control and fraud investigation added more “guest inconvenience promotion charge codes” instead of auditing the figures,“ which resulted in recorded revenue that did not exist and needed to be reversed,” Kuba said in the lawsuit.
Kuba had seemingly long been concerned about certain practices at Disney. Per the Sentinel’s article, she filed a Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) whistleblower complaint as early as 2017. The SEC has not issued a statement regarding the situation at this time.
The Walt Disney Company, for their part, has denied the accusations and called Kuba’s claims “meritless.”
At this time, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek has not spoken out regarding the situation.
A Walt Disney Company Update
Recently, the Walt Disney Company held its fiscal 2021 first-quarter earnings call. As expected, the Parks, Experiences and Products division lost a significant amount of money as Disney’s global theme parks continue to struggle amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Walt Disney World Resort, Tokyo Disney Resort, and Shanghai Disneyland are all operational with a variety of health and safety measures, such as mandatory face masks and social distancing protocols, in place.
The true bright spot for Disney right now is its direct-to-consumer department, headed by Kareem Daniel after last year’s restructuring. Disney+ original content, like The Mandalorian and WandaVision, have helped the company stay afloat as families’ entertainment needs shift amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
Disney will continue to place its primary focus on Disney+ moving forward.
Stay tuned to Inside the Magic for more on this lawsuit as it develops. What do you think?