• Register
Return to: Home > News > KPMG facing record $50m in claims settlement?

KPMG facing record $50m in claims settlement?

KPMG's US arm is potentially facing a bill of up to $50m to settle civil claims arising from leaked access to confidential Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) lists and documents. The Wall Street Journal reports that the US arm of KPMG is likely to be looking at the highest fine ever imposed on an auditor by the Securities & Exchange Commission.

KPMG already holds the dubious distinction of receiving the highest fine so far levied against an auditor, $22.5m; imposed on the firm in 2005 regarding misleading financial statements by Xerox.

The civil penalty KPMG now faces follows on from the outcome of criminal cases involving individuals at KPMG and the PCAOB. In March 2019 KPMG’s national managing partner for audit quality David Middendorf and Jeffrey Wada, a former employee of the PCAOB were convicted of wire fraud charges in connection with a scheme to defraud the PCAOB by obtaining, disseminating, and using confidential lists of which KPMG audits the PCAOB would be reviewing.

Former KPMG executive director – Cynthia Holder – had already pleaded guilty to fraud in relation to this scheme in October 2018. Holder was a PCAOB inspection leader before joining KPMG.

The Wall Street Journal says final details of the civil settlement are still being worked out and will be likely to include the appointment to KPMG of an independent compliance consultant but the firm is not expected to be barred from audit activities.

Top Content

    Brazil: regulation and technology form basis for recovery

    Opportunities in the capital markets and the ever-growing influence of technology are expected to have a significant impact on the Brazilian accounting profession over the next 12 months, writes Paul Golden.

    read more

    Mentoring support and the opportunity to delegate

    Jon Lisby will be known to many from his former role as CEO of Kreston International. Here, he explains the background to his new venture, Global Alliance Advisory Services (GAAS), and how he aims to offer support to alliance CEOs.

    read more

    Global by name, global by nature

    Stephen Heathcote became chief executive officer of PrimeGlobal on 1 June 2019. Robin Amlôt met him to discuss the various new challenges that he has taken on, and his ambitions for the association.

    read more

    ARGA team, assemble!

    The new top team has been named that will see in root-and-branch reform at the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) as it transforms into the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA). Will the new duo be as dynamic as some are hoping? Robin Amlôt reports.

    read more


    As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread across the world, the International Accounting Bulletin and The Accountant will be collating all the latest news and updates from the profession on the pandemic’s impact.

    read more
Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.