Price Waterhouse ‘Confident’ Of Getting Stay On SEBI Order
Price Waterhouse is confident of getting a stay on market regulator SEBI’s order barring its network entities from issuing audit certificates to any listed company in India for two years in the Satyam case.
“We are disappointed with the findings of the SEBI investigations and the adjudication order. The SEBI order relates to a fraud that took place nearly a decade ago in which we played no part and had no knowledge of,” the auditor said late tonight in a emailed statement.
Nine years after sending the first notice to Price Waterhouse for anomalies in auditing the books of scam-hit erstwhile Satyam Computers System, the market regulator in its order also directed disgorgement of over Rs 13 crore wrongful gains from the audit major and its two erstwhile partners who worked on the IT major’s accounts.
The action stems from India’s biggest accounting fraud at Satyam after its founder Ramalinga Raju admitted to cooking up books in 2009. The Securities and Exchange Board of India had sent a notice to Price Waterhouse pointing out that it had accepted Satyam’s monthly bank statements as final even though they didn’t match with the company’s daily bank statements.
“As we have said since 2009, there has been no intentional wrong doing by PW firms in the unprecedented management perpetrated fraud at Satyam, nor have we seen any material evidence to the contrary,” the audit firm said.
We believe that the order is also not in line with the directions of the Hon’ble Bombay High Court order of 2010 and so we are confident of getting a stay before this order becomes effective.Price Waterhouse Statement
Price Waterhouse, however, said it has “learnt the lessons of Satyam and invested heavily over the last nine years in building a robust and high quality audit practice. This was “confirmed in 2015 by an independent monitor appointed by the U.S. SEC and PCAOB,” the firm added.