MCGLADREY SUED IN MADOFF CASENew York - McGladrey & Pullen has been sued by a hedge fund for failing to detect red flags in Bernard Madoff's investment schemes, leading the hedge fund to lose $280 million.

The lawsuit states that McGladrey and a firm that it had acquired, Goldstein Golub Kessler, produced unqualified audit opinions in 2006 and 2007 of Darien, Conn.-based Maxam Absolute Return Fund, despite the fund's investments with Madoff, who was arrested in December after admitting to losing at least $50 billion of his clients' money in a gigantic Ponzi scheme.

McGladrey spokesperson Betsy Weinberger declined to comment. "Obviously, like any company, we can't specifically comment on pending litigation," she said. "We acted with due care and conformed to professional standards."

SS&G IN OUTPLACEMENT VENTURE

Cleveland - CPA and business advisory firm SS&G Financial Services Inc. and Torch Group Inc., a marketing consultancy, have created SS&G/Torch Group Career Transition Services.

The joint venture will provide transition products and services for companies and nonprofit organizations finding themselves having to dismiss workers, as well as individuals who are out of work. CTS currently offers such services as personal career coaching, workshops, technology tools and job search methodologies to furloughed workers.

MORE FIRMS FORM CRISIS TEAMS

A number of major firms have announced the creation of units to help client companies cope with the ongoing financial crisis:

* Milwaukee-based Wipfli has formed its Troubled Economy - Surviving and Thriving, or TEST, Task Force.

* Livingston, N.J. based Wiss & Co. has created the Wiss Economic Advisory Group, to be led by partner Anthony Calascibetta.

* Birmingham, Ala.-based Barfield Murphy Shank & Smith has formed the TurnAround Services Committee - a multidisciplinary team of CPAs that will deliver effective turnaround services to restructure struggling companies, particularly its small business clients. It will be led by the three founding shareholders - Keith Barfield, Don Murphy and John Shank.

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