Cendant Corporation was created by merging an ethical company with an unethical company. The unethical company was CUC International (CUC) and the ethical company was Hospitality Franchise Services (HFS). Although both companies were highly acquisitive before their 1997 merger, CUC used deceptive accounting practices to inflate its reported earnings. After the merger, CUC management (led by Walter Forbes) took over and continued these practices in the new Cendant Corporation. An investigation revealed that CUC had practiced unethical accounting since at least 1988, continuing until these deceptive practices came to light in 1998. Further investigation suggested that CUC management’s fraudulent practices went back even further, starting as early as 1983. CUC came to depend on an ongoing stream of falsified financial statements, hiding their fraud and projecting an image of growth and health.