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March 31, 2010

PCAOB bans CPAs involved with Satyam

The US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has barred two Satyam auditors from Lovelock & Lewes, an Indian firm affiliated with PricewaterhouseCoopers International, from being associated with any PCAOB-registered audit firms.

Chintapatla Ravindernath and Siva Prasad Pulavarthi failed to co-operate with the PCAOB’s investigation into Lovelock & Lewes’ conduct in relation to the Satyam scandal.

The US watchdog claimed Ravindernath and Pulavarthi refused to testify, which allowed the audit regulator to sanction them under US corporate law.

Ravindernath, who has since resigned from Lovelock & Lewes, was the deputy manager for the Satyam audit engagement from April 2000 to March 2005 and then from April 2005 to February 2009.

Pulavarthi, who has also resigned from Lovelock & Lewes, was the engagement and client relationship manager for the Satyam audit engagement from April 2005 to March 2008.

Lovelock & Lewes is one of five PricewaterhouseCoopers International affiliated firms that operate in India and are registered with the PCAOB.

In January 2009, Satyam’s founder and chair Ramalinga Raju admitted to fraud totalling more than $1.44bn – the largest corporate fraud in India’s history.

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