A $39.5 million settlement between PricewaterhouseCoopers and investors in a mortgage loan fund is a done deal, now that the California Supreme Court has officially dismissed the original filing. The state’s highest court had agreed to hear the case back in March, just days before the plaintiffs reached a settlement after agreeing to mediation with the Big Four firm. That settlement has since received approval from both a federal bankruptcy court as well as the Alameda County Superior Court. Both sides requested a dismissal of the case in early September. The plaintiffs sued PwC in 2002, accusing the firm of abetting a fraudulent scheme carried out by then general partner, James Hillman, of two partnerships in which they had invested. Hillman and the director of the mortgage fund were sued in 2001 by the Securities and Exchange Commission. According to court filings, PwC audited the financial statements of the two partnerships in 1999, but ended its audit after telling Hillman he had given the firm falsified audit reports. The case itself had questioned whether PwC was required to inform investors of the fraudulent scheme. The money will go into a fund established under a global settlement agreement reached in federal court in 2002, and be distributed to plaintiffs.
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