Ray Bradbury sues Sino Techfibre for copyright infringement

You’ve got to give them credit for lateral thinking - one dodgy S-chip that was about to face the wrath of the auditors has decided to use Fahrenheit 451 as an instruction manual.

Here’s part 1 of Sino Techfibre’s announcement to the SGX, dated 21 April (emphasis added):

1. Fire outbreak

The Board of Directors wishes to announce that a fire broke out in the early hours of the morning on 20 April 2011 at a part of the Company’s office and administrative premises of our production facility in Longkou City, Shandong Province PRC.

_The fire outbreak did not cause any injury or death to any of the Company’s staff as none were present in or near the office at the time of the fire outbreak. However, _the Company’s books and financial records which were kept in the affected office premise were destroyed by the fire,_ in addition to some physical damage to affected office premise._

What a terrible tragedy! It’s just lucky that nobody was injured in this disaster!

In totally unrelated news, here’s part 3 of the same announcement:

3._ _Updates pertaining to the audit issues

Immediately after the announcement was made by the Company on 14 April 2011 in respect of the audit issues,

___ _in anticipation of the commencement of the expanded audit work and investigations by Ernst & Young LLP, the management and staff of the Company have been making the necessary preparatory work in respect of the relevant books and financial records of the Company prior to the aforesaid fire outbreak.

Let’s have a look at the timeline of Sino Techfibre’s woes:

_13 April: STF shares are halted ahead of “a pending announcement”, after sinking by a third over the previous three months_ (and never resume trading);

_14 April: _STF announces its auditors_ “have discovered certain discrepancies in invoices issued by the Company and its suppliers”;_

_19 April: STF’s shares are suspended from the SGX (five years after raising SGD$130mio in _their IPO);

_20 April, “early hours”: a fire destroys every copy of STF’s financials_ (if only they’d kept proper backups!);

20 April: STF’s audit committee receives the letter of engagement from Ernst and Young, hours after all the company’s financials have been destroyed.

It looks like that’s another $130 million(!) picked from the pockets of Singaporean investors. There seems to be a pattern here.