Building on theories of obfuscation and deception from accounting and communication literature, we examined 202 fraudulent and non-fraudulent 10-Ks by focusing on 25 linguistic cues. Our findings suggest that authors of fraudulent 10-Ks chose more complex words, signaling words of achievement and cause, and qualifying conjunctions. We found that truthful 10-Ks displayed more present tense verbs and were easier to read as indicated by the FRE readability measure. Those who construct 10-Ks may choose to deceive strategically by hiding bad news in more complicated content while trumpeting good news and achievements.