PracticeAccounting FirmsProsecutors claim Andersen is corrupt

Prosecutors claim Andersen is corrupt

Government prosecutors have kicked off their case against crumbling firm Andersen by describing the firm as corrupt, saying that it was on probation for previous actions, and had destroyed documents to protect its former audit client Enron.

The prosecution opened by saying the firm had attempted to get rid of papers relating to Enron, despite knowing the SEC would subpoena such documents .

However Andersen’s attorney opened by claiming the amount of documents destroyed by the firm were less than a box full, while waving hundreds of Enron documents that had not been destroyed.

The firm also claimed they were acting on the orders of sacked partner David Duncan.

If the firm is found guilty it could face a $500,000 (£340,000) fine and five years probation.

But a conviction, could also see Andersen barred from auditing public companies, effectively meaning the end of the road for the firm, which has already merged many of its practices in Europe, Asia and South America with the remaining Big Five.

The jury of nine men and seven women is not expected to reach a conclusion for another three weeks at the earliest.

The criminal case against the firm began on Monday.

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