October 17, 2018

Fines

Deloitte sign

PCAOB Fines Deloitte Canada $350,000 for Breaking Independence Rules Thrice on Audits of Banro

Deloitte Canada scored a hat trick of sorts on Oct. 16, but I doubt it was celebrated among the firm’s management. The firm was censured and fined $350,000 by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board on Tuesday for failing to maintain independence during its 2012, 2013, and 2014 audits of Canadian gold-mining company Banro Corp. […]

FRC Didn’t Want Grant Thornton U.K. to Feel Left Out of All the Disciplinary Fun

The Big 4 firms in the U.K. have been the target of repeated tongue-lashings from the Financial Reporting Council lately because, let’s face it, audits have been pretty damn bad. Things have gotten so desperate that EY is bringing in behavioral psychologists to improve audit quality. But the U.K. accounting watchdog’s most recent tongue-lashing wasn’t […]

Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before: FRC Reprimands KPMG U.K. for Crappy Audit

When it comes to the Financial Reporting Council and KPMG audits, it must be like shooting fish in a barrel. This time, the U.K. accounting watchdog fined KPMG £2.1 million ($2.7 million) on Aug. 20 following the Big 4 firm’s admission of misconduct on the audit of fashion company Ted Baker Plc’s financial statements in […]

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Deloitte Agrees to Fork Over $149.5 Million for Its Crappy Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Audits

The Justice Department announced that Deloitte would pay a $149.5 million fine to put “potential False Claims Act liability” to bed for its role as the auditor of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp., the failed mortgage originator. Justice alleged that “Deloitte’s audits knowingly deviated from applicable auditing standards and therefore failed to detect TBW’s […]

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PwC’s 2017 to Forget Tour Rolls On

PwC, the Big 4 accounting firm most likely to request a mulligan on 2017, has been censured and fined $1 million by the PCAOB for violations in its audit of Merrill Lynch. The PCAOB order follows a SEC action against Merrill from last year after the broker “held tens of billions of dollars” of customer […]

New York Puts Deloitte in Time-out Over Standard Chartered

Remember last summer when Deloitte got itself wrapped up in a big international money laundering scandal? It was pretty exciting international intrigue-y stuff! The New York Department of Financial Services fined Standard Chartered bank $340 million last August for helping Iran move money around and now Cuomo & Co. have gotten around to holding Deloitte responsible […]

Michele Bachmann Can Take Solace in the Fact That the IRS Is Also Feeling Rejected by Iowa Today

You've probably heard by now that escaped mental patient Michele Bachmann has suspended her campaign for president. While this is upsetting for many that stand proudly around the Bachmann couldron, the congresswoman should know that while voters all over Iowa were skipping over her name with ease last night, the Iowa City school district also […]

CFTC Didn’t Think Too Much of McGladrey’s Audit of One World Capital Group

They were so unimpressed with it, in fact, that they are fining the firm $900,000 and partner David Shane $100,000 to settle up.


Mickey G’s issued an unqualified audit opinion for One World Capital Group’s 2006 financial statements and also stated that the company’s internal controls were just fine and dandy. Neither of these things turned out to be true. And when you read the CFTC’s press release, you really have to wonder if anyone was really auditing this company:

[T]he order finds that One World’s 2006 financial statements were materially misstated in various ways including: (1) the 2006 Statement of Financial Condition states that liabilities payable to all customers were over $6.9 million, when in fact information available in One World’s records showed that it may have owed at least $15 million just to forex customers alone, for whom One World served as the counterparty; and (2) the 2006 financial statements materially misstated the nature of One World’s business by failing to reflect that One World served as the counter party to its forex customers for over 90 percent of its business, according to the order.

In addition, McGladrey failed to report material inadequacies in One World’s accounting system and internal accounting controls, including the lack of a customer ledger, and an accounting system that did not properly identify the number of forex customers or the amount of customer liabilities, according to the order. These material inadequacies reasonably could, and did, lead to material misstatements in One World’s 2006 financial statements, the order finds.

No punch and cake for anyone after this fiasco.

[via CFTC]

Why Did Prometric Get Fined $300,000 by NASBA in 2010?

David A. Costello, CPA, President & CEO and Michael R. Bryant, CPA, CFO of NASBA jointly and severally stated that NASBA’s 2010 financial statements did not contain any untrue material statements and their auditors, Lattimore Black Morgan & Cain, PC seconded that so obviously the following is all accurate. We looked ourselves. Not being professional financial statement ninjas, however, we invite you to take a peek for yourself here.

The good news for NASBA is that total consolidated revenue in Fiscal 2010 was $33.7 million compared to $31.4 million in Fiscal 2009, an increase of 7.3%. There were more CPA exam candidates as well as a new state added to NASBA’s CPAES program, which does the work of state boards of accountancy by processing CPA exam applications.


Interestingly, though my grandparents have been eating Alpo for the last two years thanks to Ben Bernanke and I’m earning a little under half a percent on my savings, NASBA must have a good investment banker because they did pretty well for themselves in FY 10. The annual report states that revenue from escrow management fees related to the CPA exam increased over the prior year and that higher interest rates, on average, during FY 10 were earned on these funds which are held in fully-insured securities or interest-bearing accounts. Can someone please let me know where these accounts are?! I want in.

But the most interesting part of NASBA’s mostly dull financial statements is the $300,000 “fine” Prometric paid them for violating its CPA exam agreement. Yes, the same agreement that was just renewed through 2024 with much fanfare last year.

The item is reported as “Income from Contract Issue” on NASBA’s consolidated financial statements and buried in note 12 thusly:

Note 12. Income from Contract Issue
As a part of the initial CBT Services Agreement effective May 31, 2002, Prometric was required to obtain and maintain insurance policies for certain specific perils, coverage amounts, terms and conditions naming the Association and its member boards as additional insureds. During fiscal 2010, the Association asserted that Prometric failed to comply with certain applicable insurance requirements. Prometric denied the assertions but, in resolution of the matter, provided evidence that it had come into compliance, agreed to indemnify, hold harmless and defend for any coverage lapses, and paid $300,000 to the Association. In addition, Prometric reimbursed the Association for certain legal and administrative expenses related to the resolution.

It doesn’t appear that NASBA declared the legal and admin expenses it also received so we’re assuming they were either immaterial or just embarrassing. Any financial statement detectives are welcome to come to their own conclusions.

Ex-KPMG Senior Manager Convicted of Selling Tax Shelters Is 50% Less Poorer Today

A win is a win and the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals handed one to John Larson, one of three defendants sentenced last year for selling illegal tax shelters. The Court “found Larson’s [$6 million] fine too high, citing a lack of jury findings to support a fine above $3 million. It returned that part of the case to the lower court to recalculate any fine.”


That’s more or less where the good news ends. The court did uphold the convictions of Larson and his two co-defendants – ex-KPMG Partner Robert Pfaff and ex-Brown & Wood partner Raymond Ruble. Larson was sentenced to a 10 year prison term last year. Pfaff received 8 years and Ruble 6-1/2 years.

Appeals court upholds KPMG tax shelter convictions [Reuters]

The SEC Should Be Careful Not to Spend All $550 Million in One Place

Hopefully they’ll spread it around, you know, with lifetime memberships to: ladyboyjuice.com, kinkycomments.com, sexyavatars.net, cafebuckskin.blogspot.com et al.

Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay $550 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the largest penalty ever paid by a Wall Street firm, to settle charges of securities fraud linked to mortgage investments.

Under the terms of the deal, Goldman will pay $300 million in fines to the Treasury Department, with the rest serving as restitution to investors in the mortgage-linked security. Goldman will not admit wrongdoing, though it will admit that its marketing materials for the investment “contained incomplete information.”

That doesn’t sound nearly as fun but we understand a few people may have gotten hurt on this deal.

Goldman Settles With S.E.C. for $550 Million [NYT]