Four KPMG (and former KPMG) partners have agreed to SEC fines for their failure to detect a multi-billion dollar accounting fraud at Xerox Corp. Two of the four will pay the SEC $150,000 each, the largest fines ever imposed against individual auditors by the SEC.
From 1997 through 2000, Xerox manipulated its accounting for office equipment leases, in order to meet Wall Street’s expectations. The SEC alleges that KPMG partners overseeing the audit knew or should have known about the improper accounting practices.
To date, the SEC has won $55.2 million in penalties and disgorgement from cases related to Xerox. This includes $22.5 million in fines paid by KPMG.