The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board revoked the registration of a New York public accounting firm and disciplined three of its partners for concealing information from the board and submitting false information in connection with a PCAOB inspection.
The PCAOB said Tuesday that it revoked the registration of New York City-based Goldstein and Morris CPAs PC, and barred the firm's managing partner, Edward B. Morris, from association with a registered accounting firm.
The board said that it also censured two former partners, who the PCAOB said participated in the misconduct, but alerted the board and cooperated in the investigation.
Claudius Modesti, director of the PCAOB's Division of Enforcement and Investigations, said that the action demonstrates that the board "will not tolerate conduct aimed at thwarting" its inspections.
The board said that Morris and two partners, Alan J. Goldberger and William A. Postelnik, were aware that the firm had prepared the financial statements of two of its public company audit clients in violation of auditor independence rules, but took steps to conceal that fact from the board by omitting some information in its written response to a PCAOB inspection request in 2004. The PCAOB also found that the partners, after learning of the imminent PCAOB inspection, formulated and carried out a plan to create and back-date certain documents and place them in the firm's audit files to conceal the firm's failure to comply with certain auditing standards.
Goldberger and Postelnik notified the PCAOB of the omitted and falsified information and both resigned from the firm, according to the board.
Neither the accounting firm nor Morris admitted or denied the findings. The firm consented to a board order revoking its registration, thus prohibiting it from auditing the financial statements of public companies, while Morris consented to a board order barring him from association with a registered accounting firm.
Goldberger and Postelnik agreed to be censured without admitting or denying the findings. The board said that it limited their sanctions to censures because they "promptly and voluntarily brought the matter to the board's attention, disclosed their own misconduct and the misconduct of others, and made affirmative efforts to provide the board with relevant information."
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