IANAA, but there's "creative accounting", and then there's fraud. One is perfectly legal, the other not. It's like the difference between "tax avoidance" and "tax evasion".
The thing with creative accounting is not that it hides or creates money from nothing (which would be fraud), but that it moves it around from other places/times. If you see a really good quarter now, it's possibly because some income has been moved from elsewhen. So it might be expected for the next few fiscal quarters to be more disappointing.
The old guy gets to leave on a high, and the new guy gets to "improve" the company's financials after an initial few bad quarters. It's an accountancy win-win.