‘Not guilty’, says Andersen in court

In the firm’s first court appearance since being indicted of criminal charges for obstructing justice last week, Andersen challenged the US government to prove its case, just days after claiming the indictment of the whole firm as unfair.

The plea was not surprising, as it is the only move the firm could have made to fend off possible prison sentences for so far un-named senior executives.

The maximum sentences for executives is a five-year prison sentence and a $500,000 fine (£350,000). The next hearing will take place on 20 May, with the firm desperate to clear its name as soon as possible before it suffers a mass exodus of clients, people and even national practices.

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