Washington (July 15, 2004) -- A Denver-based accounting firm agreed to be barred from practicing before the Securities and Exchange Commission for three years and to pay a $50,000 civil penalty to settle charges brought by the commission that it violated securities laws in its audits of a former client.

In addition to the three-year ban and the fine, Denver-based CPA firm Levine, Hughes & Mithuen Inc. agreed to cease and desist from committing or causing any securities laws violations, and to establish and maintain policies and procedures to preserve working papers intact and to certify within three months that such policies and procedures have been established and implemented. The firm, which did not admit or deny the SEC’s allegations, also agreed to hire an independent consultant to confirm that it disseminated those policies and procedures firm-wide and to conduct a review of a one-year period of LHM's compliance with those policies and procedures and report to the SEC the results of the review.

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