SEC hits Las Vegas accountant with false audit rap

A Las Vegas accountant has settled with the SEC and accounting investigators
after the US markets watchdog levelled charges of false audit reports against
him and his firm.

The SEC accused Michael J. Moore and his firm Moore & Associates
Chartered (M&A) of issuing unqualified audit reports with deficient

Untrained employees of M&A conducted ‘few if any auditing procedures on
the financial statements of their clients,’ the SEC said.

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board also took disciplinary action
against Moore and M&A, which led to the firm settling with both agencies
without admitting or denying the allegations.

Despite the settlements, Moore and M&A forked out $179,750 (£110,000)
plus prejudgment interest of $10,151.59 in ‘ill-gotten gains’ the SEC said.

Moore also agreed to pay a $130,000 penalty personally. The SEC also
suspended Moore and M&A from appearing or practicing before the Commission
as accountants.

The PCAOB also barred Moore from being an associated person of a registered
public accounting firm and revoked M&A’s registration with the PCAOB.

‘Moore and M&A falsely stated that their audits were conducted in
accordance with PCAOB standards when in fact their audits were so deficient that
they amounted to no audits at all,’ said Rosalind Tyson, Director of the SEC’s
Los Angeles Regional Office.

‘Even when there were red flags that a client’s financial statements were
materially misstated, the firm did not perform any meaningful audit procedures.’

According to the SEC’s complaint, filed in US District Court for the District
of Nevada, Moore and M&A issued audit reports for more than 300 clients
mainly consisting of developmental stage companies with publicly quoted stock.

The SEC believed Moore and M&A violated numerous auditing standards,
including a failure to hire employees with adequate technical training and

According to the SEC’s complaint, ‘they got little to no training on the

The SEC also alleged Moore and M&A did not adequately plan and supervise
the audits, failed to exercise due professional care, and did not obtain
sufficient competent evidence.

‘Despite the audit failures, M&A issued and Moore signed audit reports
falsely stating that the audits were conducted in accordance with PCAOB
Standards,’ the SEC said.

‘The SEC appreciates the assistance of the PCAOB in this matter,’ the
watchdog added.

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