Luckin Coffee Inc. brewing fraud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Theoretical basis: This case is based on using the fraud triangle, theoretical aspects like rationalization and motivation for understanding the financial pressures and corporate greed lead to accounting fraud. Building on the corporate governance’s weakness, the case explores the challenges and the changes that the company has to make to survive.

Research methodology: The case study has been entirely based on published resources. The case explores out the reasons why the companies commit accounting fraud using the motivations, financial pressures and the opportunities exploited due to a weak governance system.

Case overview/synopsis: The case deals with a RMB 2.2bn accounting fraud at Luckin Coffee Inc. (L.K.), a US-listed Chinese company, which led to a steep fall in its share price by more than 80% in April 2020. The company’s CEO had to resign in light of the accounting fraud, which involved fabricating the transactions in 2019, the same year it got listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The case is a classic example of greed, corporate ambition and flaws in the corporate governance that led to the fraud while framing a course of action for the company moving forward. The case allows the learners to dive deep into the facts to find out why the fraud happened and its repercussions for the company and its various stakeholders. The case can be useful in Accounting, Corporate governance or Ethics modules for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Complexity academic level: The case can be used for both postgraduate and undergraduate financial accounting or corporate governance modules or the executive development programmes explicitly dealing with ethical challenges and accounting fraud.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe CASE Journal
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2022


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