The largest pest control company in the world is Rollins, Inc.  Rollins has been very profitable, and its executives say the company is recession-proof.  After all, cockroaches and rats aren’t going away.

At the start of 2017, Rollins seemed poised for more success.  Its earnings had increased for 45 quarters in a row.  That’s more than eleven years, which is how long it takes to get a PhD, read War and Peace, or renew your driver’s license.

But not everything was as it seemed…

Rollins was under investigation by the SEC.  Its CFO was accused of manipulating reserves to boost profits.  So, when Rollins achieved its earnings target by just one penny not once but twice, the SEC smelled a rat.