PracticeAccounting FirmsGrant Thornton may sever ties with Italian arm

Grant Thornton may sever ties with Italian arm

The global chief executive of Grant Thornton says it 'will not hesitate' to expel its Italian firm if wrongdoing is uncovered in relation to the Parmalat scandal.

Link: Grant Thornton SpA chairman goes over Parmalat

Speaking to Reuters, David McDonnell, chief executive of Grant Thornton International, said the firm would not hesitate to take action against Grant Thornton SpA, or individuals, if wrong doing was uncovered.

Grant Thornton has already accepted the resignation of Lorenzo Penca, chairman of the Italian affiliate, and suspended his partner Maurizio Bianchi. Both are former audit partners of Parmalat subsidiary Bonlat where a €3.9bn accounting hole was uncovered.

Both were arrested on Wednesday last week and were questioned by magistrates on Friday, but have denied any wrongdoing.

McDonnell is heading up the investigation into the Parmalat affair, and is fighting to ensure it does not affect the firm’s reputation outside Italy. Grant Thornton has 110 offices worldwide.

Italian authorities probing Parmalat’s collapse a fortnight ago have widened the net in their search for up to €8bn (£5.6bn) of missing money and also are probing the role of Bank of America.

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