On February 28 the US Justice Department fined Deloitte & Touche LLP $149.5 million for alleged fraud against the government related to its role as the independent outside auditor of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. Also: The damages phase of the FDIC v. PwC case regarding Colonial Bank is set to begin in Washington DC on March 20.
Here’s a brief look at the TBW Plan Trustee v. PwC trial, what led to it and what’s next.
Update: The PCAOB is investigating PwC for its tax avoidance advice to Caterpillar, the Wall Street Journal is reporting. One down, more than 100+ PwC audit clients advised via Luxembourg to go…
The MF Global Holdings Bankruptcy Plan Administrator filed a lawsuit on March 29 for professional malpractice and breach of contract against PwC as auditor of MF Global Holdings. I will be writing about the complaint and the status of the case early next week. In the meantime, you can review all I’ve written prior. I’ve updated this post with additional links as well as a link to my e-book compilation of MF Global columns from all sources that has material going back to its roots in the Refco fraud.
Here’s a breakdown of some of what’s the same and what’s different about these three cases.
My notes for guest lectures (there were two sections, back-to-back) February 10, 2014 for Bus F332/Law 725, Finance and Society, at Stanford University Graduate School of Business, taught by Professor Anat Admati. Emphasis: The auditors’ role in corporate governance in financial institutions and specifically how auditors not inadvertently stifle the actual use of compensation clawbacks.
PwC is scheduled to go to trial for malpractice related to the bankruptcy of SemGroup in August, almost six years later. The SemGroup Litigation Trust, pursuing claims on behalf of the company and its creditors, alleges PwC did a terrible audit. But it’s worse than just lousy auditing, especially if a trial exposes the truth of PwC’s disingenuous defenses.
How do the audit firms keep winning the war while losing battles left and right? They use the law and the courts to delay, deter and distract from transparency by settling, and sealing what they can, before the public can find out what silly arguments they often make in their defense.
The PCAOB’s second “progress” report on broker-dealer audits found deficiencies in all of the audit firms inspected and in 57 of the 60 audits inspected. That’s not much progress.
Do you want to learn more about those who push for a return to the gold standard? Do you know the common thread between JP Morgan, Madoff’s biggest feeder fund, Chesapeake Energy, and MF Global? Here’s a speech I gave back in May 2012 in New York to the Committee for Monetary Research and Education that touches on both topics.
Pete Brush at Law.com did a story last week about a story about in pari delicto, the adverse interest exception, and holding third-parties like auditors liable for fraud in bankruptcy cases. I was quoted.
On February 19, 2013, I spoke to the Chicago Chapter of the Market Technicians Association. The topic was, “Risk 2013: Protecting Your Trading Accounts From Fraud”.