46th Annual Society for Case Research & Global Jesuit Case Series Summer Workshop 2024

Experience level: 
Intended Audience: 
Xinyi Lu, Ellen Belitzky, Khadija Al Arkoubi, Brian Marks

Lyft’s Press Release Typo: Clerical error or Securities Fraud?

This case was about Lyft’s typo in its Feb. 13, 2024 press release which shed roughly $2.9 billion of the company’s market value. Accounting errors and frauds were not rare (Gartner Inc., 2024 and Dyck, Morse, & Zingales, 2024). However, it was unusual to see a public company make a simple mistake of this kind in its financial disclosure. By analyzing this case, students would learn how to differentiate accounting errors from securities frauds and how to enhance the effectiveness of internal control to prevent such incidents. Students would also learn the ethical use of forward-looking, non-GAAP performance measures in public companies’ financial disclosures.