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The cheating was simple: New England Patriots staff members videotaped the signals of opposing teams. That's not allowed by the National Football League. The team got almost no punishment for their cheating. (A relatively light fine and the loss of a first-round draft pick.) End of story.

Unless you're a United States Senator. Then you must suggest that taxpayer money be spent investigating these football shenanigans. No, I'm not kidding. Senator Arlen Specter says he wants an investigation done because the NFL hasn't done enough about the cheating.

Is he serious? The cheating was bad. The lack of punishment was worse. But it's football, for pete's sake. Are any other teams really complaining? No. (Although I promise you if it was my beloved Green Bay Packers who cheated, we'd never hear the end of it... ever.)

But no one really cares anymore. So just leave it alone. There are plenty of other uses for our tax money. And the fact that there was a huge investigation into steroids in Major League Baseball does not mean that we should throw away more taxpayer money on an essentially meaningless "investigation" of professional football. Next issue of national importance, please.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

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