The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged some 37 audit firms and 32 audit partners with reviewing the financials of public companies without undergoing mandatory registration with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.According to the regulator, the unregistered firms and partners conducted some 60 audits between November 2003 and October 2005.

Thus far, the SEC has reached settlements with 28 of the audit firms and 22 partners, each of whom agreed to censure but neither admitted nor denied the SEC findings.

Two audit firms agreed to return the fees.

The PCAOB mandates that firms that audit public clients register with the oversight body and thus are subject to periodic inspections by the board.

For a list of auditing firms and partners, go to: http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2007/2007-183.htm.

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