The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board announced Thursday that it had permanently barred a Denver-based audit partner and permanently revoked the registration of a registered public accounting firm because the audit partner had participated in audits while subject to a previous bar.

The board made its final decision Aug. 29 based on a decision issued July 6 by the PCAOB’s chief hearing officer.

“This decision underscores the importance of complying with PCAOB orders,” said Claudius B. Modesti, director of the PCAOB division of enforcement and investigations, in a statement. “The PCAOB’s disciplinary process is critical to the Board’s investor protection mandate and the significant sanctions imposed in this case bear that out.”

The chief hearing officer found that CPA Samuel D. Cordovano violated the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and PCAOB rules when he willfully became or remained associated with a registered public accounting firm after he was barred from doing so by a December 2008 PCAOB settled disciplinary order.

Under the terms of that order, Cordovano was barred from association with a right to petition the PCAOPB to re-associate after one year. Cordovano’s firm, Cordovano and Honeck, LLP, was also found to violate both the act and PCAOB rules by permitting Cordovano to become or remain associated with the firm.

The chief hearing officer found that, after that barring, Cordovano participated in significant activities relating to the audits of four issuer clients of his firm, which included advising audit team members on important accounting and auditing issues.

The board instituted these disciplinary proceedings against Cordovano and the firm on Nov. 5, 2010 with an evidentiary hearing in March 2011.

Because of the restrictions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the board could not make any information about this proceeding public until Cordovano and the firm had the opportunity to seek Securities and Exchange Commission review of the Aug. 29 action, which Cordovano and the firm did not do.

The full decision is available here.         


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