The SEC recently charged a school district in Texas and its former CFO, Carla Merka, with fraud in a $20 million bond sale. This investigation is especially notable because not only were the two main parties involved charged but Merka’s auditor, Shelby Lackey, was also charged with fraud.
Lackey “failed to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to support the audit opinion, failed to properly supervise the audit, and failed to exercise professional judgment and maintain professional skepticism.”
Christopher Warren, Managing Partner at Warren Law Group states, “Once a shareholder is able to prove some wrongdoing or reliance on fraudulent financial statements, the Securities Act of 33 shifts the burden of proving an accountant conducted a reasonable investigation and had reasonable grounds for his or her belief in the accuracy of the statements made. The SEC moving against accounting firms is in line with what Gensler had stated the Staff would do.”
If you are an auditor or accountant and are under investigation concerning your audit, you should seek experienced legal counsel to guide you through the process. The attorneys at Warren Law Group have decades of white collar and regulatory experience – call (866) WLGROUP or email email@example.com to schedule your complimentary consultation.