The Securities and Exchange Commission said it has issued settled administrative orders against eight auditors who improperly issued audit reports on the financial statements of public companies while the audit firms were not registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.
The audit firms named were Carl S. Sanko, CPA; Frederick A. Kaden & Co.; Halt, Buzas & Powell, Ltd.; and Story & Co., P.C. The audit partners named were Frederick A. Kaden, CPA; Wayne A. Powell, CPA; Steven R. Halt, CPA; and Brian L. Story, CPA.
The SEC had instituted proceedings against these auditors on Sept. 13, 2007, for alleged violations of Section 102(a) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
Without admitting or denying the findings of the orders, each of the audit firms consented to the entry of an order finding that it did not possess the requisite qualifications to represent others and violated Section 102(a), and barring it from appearing or practicing before the SEC as an accountant for one year. In addition, Halt, Buzas & Powell, Ltd. consented to the issuance of an order that it cease and desist from committing or causing violations of Section 102(a), and requiring it to disgorge audit fees that it received for the audit work.
Without admitting or denying the findings of the orders, each of the audit partners also consented to the entry of an order finding that he did not possess the requisite qualifications to represent others and censuring him under Rule 102(e). In addition, each of the audit partners must notify the SEC staff in writing that he is associated with a registered accounting firm prior to practicing before the SEC as an independent accountant in the future.
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