THE PROFESSION'S watchdog has sanctioned the finance director of listed air conditioning installer Worthington Nicholls, by taking away his license to practice as a chartered accountant.
The former FD Timothy Hunt has been excluded by the ICAEW for six years after he was found to have produced "materially false and misleading" financial statements, The Financial Times reports.
The ban is the second longest handed down by the disciplinary and investigations arm (AADB) of the Financial Reporting Council.
Hunt was found guilty of producing misleading interim accounts in June 2007 including £770,000 turnover which he had no evidence of.
The AADB also said Hunt failed to stop misleading information being dished out to investors ahead of the share placement by Worthington Nicholls, estimated to be worth £20m.
Tom Martin, (pictured) alternative executive counsel at the AADB, told the publication: "The sanction reflects the gravity of the misconduct and Mr Hunt's refusal to accept responsibility for his actions for the last three years."
"Mr Hunt was party to misleading regulatory news service announcemnets and, more seriously issuing a set of misleading interim accounts for Worthington Nicholls Group."
Richard Jones QC, who chaired the tribunal, said that Hunt "fell short of the standards expected of a professional accountant".
In May 2007 Hunt allowed a share placement letter containing misleading information to be sent out to the market. It said that current trading was strong, however the business had a net cash outflow of about £285,000 and needed external funding.
The tribunal argued that Hunt was the sole qualified accountant on the board and should have realised the company's financial position.
An independent disciplinary tribunal will be appointed to hear the formal complaint and an investigation into auditor Haines Watts' conduct is currently still on-going.
Where is the protection for a whistle blower who refuses to carry out such transactions or discloses such transactions taking place?
There is non and he/she is left to fend for him/her self and face unemployment and ruin.
This is just the tip of the iceberg as majority of cases never get reported due to lack of protection.
Posted by: A whistle bower, 16 May 2012 | 19:10
This was not a victimless case. Many pensioners and local people lost large amounts of savings when they put their hard earned cash into this scam. I see the SFO have dropped the investigation as there is no realistic hope of a conviction. Google this and see how their Share Broker was fined £225,000 when his wife was given a Porsche by the Directors..wothington nicholls porsche.
Posted by: Investor protection, 10 Aug 2012 | 10:33
Are there anywhere out there any individuals or groups of people who have been cheated out of money by these villains who are considering personally claiming from Hunt, Worthington and/or anyone else (eg. board members) involved in this scam. If so can't we all get together...?
Posted by: Disappointed Pensioner, 23 Nov 2012 | 19:21
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