Santa Claus resigned on Friday evening in the wake of accusations of fraud after it was discovered that he faked entries on the official "Naughty or Nice" list. Santa Claus handed in his notice after questions were raised about the identity of five hundred children Claus placed on the list who did not exist.
The North Pole's World Population Commission discovered the falsified records during a routine audit performed every one hundred years. According to official documents, Santa Claus added the names of children to the list whose birth records could not be verified. When confronted with the audit, Claus admitted to forging names, as well as entering names for naughty children in the "nice" category and vice-versa.
On an episode of Meet the Elves, Santa Claus expert Hans Gunderstein expressed sympathy with the beloved Christmas icon. "With the increase in the world's population over the years, Santa Claus has been under a lot of stress. China alone takes Claus months to go through. My guess is that Claus just decided to start taking shortcuts somewhere along the line, and he went too far."
The Claus scandal has rocked the mascot industry and raised important questions about ethics. The U.S. Congress has already launched an investigation into the records of the Easter Bunny, and the British Parliament is organizing a financial audit of the Tooth Fairy's Swiss Bank accounts.
Shortly after the announcement of the fraud, Santa Claus submitted his resignation to his elves and went into seclusion. Mrs. Claus will be taking over operations until a permanent replacement can be found.