SEC brings charges against auditors

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69 auditors have been charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with issuing audit reports on the financial statements of public companies without first registering with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

The SEC has named 37 unregistered audit firms and 32 audit partners in this violation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. According to the SEC:

The SEC issued 29 settled and ten contested orders. The 69 firms and partners named in today’s actions were collectively responsible for issuing 60 audit reports for 53 companies between November 2003 and October 2005.

Twenty-eight firms and 22 partners agreed to settlements in which the Commission found that each audit firm issued between one and eight audit reports while unregistered, and ordered the firms and partners to cease and desist from committing or causing violations of the registration provision of Sarbanes-Oxley, Section 102(a). The Commission also censured the firms. Additionally, two firms agreed to disgorge audit fees they received for their audits, while the other settling firms that received audit fees returned the fees to their issuers during the course of the Commission’s investigation.

The following 29 settlements were entered:

The firms and partners not settling:

 

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