Langbar CEO stripped of licence and pays £20,000 costs

THE PROFESSION’S WATCHDOG has stripped ex-Langbar chief Stuart Pearson of his licence to practice as an accountant and ordered him to pay costs.

ICAEW member Pearson was today reprimanded by an independent tribunal following a complaint from the disciplinary arm of the Financial Reporting Council.

He was ordered to pay costs of £20,000 towards the investigation into his conduct, and stripped of his licence to practice as a chartered accountant for a minimum of five years.

The Former Baker Tilly partner was found guilty of making misleading statements by falsely claiming former AIM-listed business Langbar had assets in a Brazilian bank. The business collapsed in 2005 when it was revealed this was untrue.

The Accounting and Actuarial Discipline Board, a sub-board of the FRC, filed a complaint to its disciplinary arm in 2006, alleging Pearson acted recklessly and below the standard expected of a chartered accountant.

He was previously found guilty of being reckless by a court judge and sentenced to a custodial sentence, serving time from July to September last year.

The tribunal heard Pearson and the AADB had come to a settlement that Pearson would agree he acted “recklessly” and would pay £20,000 towards the cost of the investigation – which the tribunal approved.

The AADB’s QC stressed at the tribunal he wanted to deal with the matter as quickly as possible, as a dispute on the joint-agreement would mean a full hearing racking up about £750,000 in costs.

The QC said funds at AADB were not “unlimited” and in light of Pearson’s admission the watchdog was happy with his reprimand.

Pearson has until Friday 2 March to pay the £20,000.

Related reading