Accounting News Roundup: KPMG Sued Over TierOne Audit; Accountants Kill Cars; Better Call Saul a Better Tax Lawyer | 01.17.13

Ex-TierOne shareholders file suit against KPMG auditors [LJS]
The Rosen Law Firm of New York filed suit Tuesday against KPMG and two of its Omaha staff members, partner John Aesoph and senior manager Darren Bennett, alleging that they gave TierOne a "clean" audit opinion that was materially false and misleading. [...] "When details relating to the falsity of KPMG's audit opinion entered into the market and began to materialize through partial disclosures throughout the Class Period, the price of TierOne stock dropped, damaging investors," the suit says. The suit does not specify damages, and Phillip Kim, one of the lead attorneys for the suit, said that is something that will have to be determined by the court. In a statement, KPMG said it will "vigorously defend" itself.

Rio Tinto CEO Albanese Steps Down as $14 Billion Writedown Looms [BBW]
Rio Tinto Group (RIO), the second-biggest mining company, will take about $14 billion of writedowns for failed deals in aluminum and coal led by Chief Executive Officer Tom Albanese, who departs after almost six years in charge. The 55-year-old New Jersey native is leaving as a result of the $38 billion cash takeover of Alcan Inc. in 2007, a deal that soured as China’s emergence as the world’s largest aluminum producer left Western rivals with few markets to chase. Albanese’s second-biggest deal, the A$3.9 billion ($4.1 billion) purchase of Mozambique coal producer Riversdale Mining Ltd. in 2011, also deteriorated after coal prices fell. The board picked Sam Walsh, the 63-year-old head of Rio’s iron ore unit, to turn around the London-based company that under Albanese and departing Chief Financial Officer Guy Elliott has written down asset values at its aluminum division by more than $29 billion since 2009. The Alcan takeover saw Rio’s debt rise as much as 19-fold and forced it to seek a $19.5 billion deal with Aluminum Corp. of China that Rio later aborted.

Medical marijuana company hires accounting firm for audit [CPAPA]
Medical Marijuana Inc., an OTC publicly-traded business (MJNA) based in San Diego, announced on Wednesday that it has signed a letter of engagement with the San Diego based accounting firm of Anthony W. Imbimbo & Associates to perform an audit of its financial records. For clarification, the company states that it, "does not grow, sell or distribute any substances that violate United States Law." Instead, the business focuses on being "the premier cannabis and hemp industry innovators, leveraging our team of professionals to source, evaluate and purchase value-added companies and products."

How GM Accountants Killed The Pontiac And Oldsmobile Corvettes [Jalopnik]
Typical fun-killing behavior.

Plato Consulting Inc. joins KPMG LLP [KPMG]
There's a Socrates joke here somewhere.

Real Life Saul Goodman Has Rough Day In Tax Court [Tony Nitti/Forbes]
“For a substantial fee, and I do mean substantial, you and your loved ones can vanish. Untraceable.”

Accountant pleads guilty to stealing $432,000 from employer, using it to build lake house [MSPBJ]
Ronald Leo Schaeffer, 39, of Faribault, faces up to 30 years in prison at a future sentencing hearing, the government said. [...] Schaeffer allegedly forged the signatures of the agricultural manufacturing company's CEO or chief financial officer on some of the checks, prosecutors said. The U.S. Attorney's Office said Schaeffer used the money to build a lake house in Elysian (about 20 miles west of Faribault in southern Minnesota) and to make payments on home equity and car loans.

Surgeons Allegedly Left 16 Medical Items In Body Of German Cancer Patient [HP]
I'm told this is not normal.

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