Henry Pontell, professor of criminology, law & society and sociology, testified Sept. 21 at a hearing of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission in Miami. The bipartisan panel was established by the federal government to examine the causes of the current financial and economic crisis in the U.S. In his testimony, Pontell said that the heads of large lending institutions and Wall Street firms enriched themselves at the expense of their companies, their investors and the public. “Accounting is the weapon of choice,” he said, “as the creation of phony profits reduces scrutiny by regulators and investors, allowing greater sums to be stolen.” A report on the commission’s findings is due Dec. 15.