PracticeAccounting FirmsFormer Versaille auditor ordered to pay £125,000

Former Versaille auditor ordered to pay £125,000

Accountancy firm Nunn Hayward has been severely reprimanded and ordered to pay £125,000 for failing to behave with integrity over its audit in the late-nineties of insolvent finance company Versaille.

Link: ‘Versailles loss-making from the start’

Former partner Thomas Peter Dales must pay £10,000 costs and was excluded from membership of the ICAEW. The firm’s penalty is made up of a £50,000 fine and £75,000 in costs.

The Accountant’s Joint Disciplinary Scheme’s finding of ‘failing to behave with integrity’ is an extremely rare and serious allegation.

Ian Nunn, general practice partner at Nunn Hayward, said Dales left the firm in March 2001, but he offered no comment over the details of his separation from the firm.

The most serious complaint against Nunn Hayward and Dales, according to the JDS, was that ‘they signed false “comfort letters” required by the banks, which had lent money to Versailles. Without bank lending, Versailles could not have survived as long as it did’.

JDS trebles fines in one year

The finding from the JDS follows the completion of the criminal prosecution of Carl Cushnie, chairman and chief executive, and finance director Frederick Clough.

Clough had already pleaded guilty to fraud while Cushnie was convicted of ‘conspiracy to defraud wealthy individuals’ on Tuesday. Both men will be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on 8 June.

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