A former audit partner at BDO USA LLP has pleaded guilty to lying to investigators from the Securities and Exchange Commission during his testimony.
The Justice Department filed criminal charges against Bryan N. Polozola, a CPA who lives in Richardson, Texas, the SEC said Thursday. Polozola pleaded guilty to a one-count information charging him with making a false statement to government officials.
Last year, the SEC issued subpoenas to BDO and Polozola, who was responsible for auditing several hedge funds managed by an investment adviser that the SEC has been investigating. SEC investigators heard testimony from Polozola to learn about his role in the audit process and assess his credibility.
The criminal information alleges that during the questioning last September, Polozola falsely testified to the SEC staff members that he was not aware of a $49,350 payment made on his behalf to his former employer. In fact, Polozola was aware that his attorney had repaid the $49,350 to the former employer as reimbursement of the funds he had allegedly taken for his personal use, according to the SEC. The payment was made at Polozola’s direction and with Polozola’s funds.
Polozola was the subject of a 2005 proceeding by the National Association of Securities Dealers (now the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) alleging that he took $49,350 in funds from a former employer for his personal use. Polozola neither admitted nor denied the NASD’s allegations in consenting to a bar from associating with any NASD firm.
BDO pointed out that Polozola’s involvement with the hedge fund manager predated his employment with the firm. The SEC subpoena of BDO pertained to an ongoing investigation of the hedge fund manager. When the firm learned of the 2005 NASD proceeding, it terminated him.
“Bryan Polozola was employed at BDO from March 2008 to September 2011," said a statement by the firm. "During 2011 testimony before the SEC in an unrelated matter, Mr. Polozola provided false testimony related to his conduct with a former employer. This conduct preceded his employment at BDO by three years. When made aware of these events, BDO terminated Mr. Polozola’s employment."