Partners of Coopers & Lybrand Deloitte, now part of PricewaterhouseCoopers, have this week been ploughing through the 1,000 page Department of Trade and Industry report on the Maxwell affair.
The DTI’s long-awaited findings on the collapse of the corrupt media tycoon’s empire are expected to be published later this week, though copies of the whole report have already been given to those named by the department’s inspectors.
Previously, along with others named in the damning report, Coopers had only been able to see certain extracts.
The report is expected to heavily criticise those organisations and individuals involved in the flotation of Mirror Group Newspapers in 1991.
Coopers will be in the firing line as the firm was the auditor for MGN.
As well as Coopers, other City firms, including investment banks Goldman Sachs and Samuel Montagu, now part of HSBC, are likely to be publicly censured.
Although commissioned in 1992, the DTI investigation was put on hold during the unsuccessful prosecutions of Kevin and Ian Maxwell and Larry Trachtenberg.
Coopers has already been investigated by the accountants’ Joint Disciplinary Scheme and was heavily fined as a result.
It has also made a substantial contribution to the Maxwell pension funds, believed to be in the region of #60m.
The firm has admitted that it fell short of its own standards and that the findings of the Joint Disciplinary Tribunal will act as a constant reminder for auditors.
For updates once the report is published see www.accountancyage.com.
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