Andersen UK escapes Enron probe

The Joint Disciplinary Scheme has dropped its investigation into former Big
Five firm Andersen over the Enron scandal, after finding no evidence requiring
further action.

Andersen’s UK firm was referred to the JDS following its collapse amid a
flurry of accusations about document shredding in its Houston offices.

Much of the UK operation was transferred to Deloitte in a deal brokered by
former Andersen London senior partner John Ormerod.

Initially, similar allegations surfaced of document shredding at Enron’s
London office, but the JDS has decided to take no further action against the
auditors of the energy giant’s European subsidiaries.

‘We found that this was essentially a US problem and nothing really to do
with anything happening here,’ said JDS executive counsel Chris Dickson.

Earlier this year, the US Supreme Court also overturned Andersen’s conviction
of obstruction of justice over its role with Enron.

But the JDS’ work on Enron is yet to finish, with the investigation into Tory
peer and ICAEW member Lord Wakeham still active. The former member of Enron’s
audit committee is currently being investigated in the US for ignoring warnings
about the company’s high-risk accounting practices. The outcome of this
investigation is likely to influence the JDS inquiry.

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