KPMG Sued by New Century Trustee Over Subprime Lender’s Demise By Sophia Pearson - April 2, 2009 00:36 EDT
April 2 (Bloomberg) -- KPMG International, which oversees the fourth-largest U.S. accounting firm, was sued by the trustee for bankrupt subprime lender New Century Financial Corp. over claims it failed in its role as “gatekeeper.” Negligent audits and reviews by KPMG LLP, the U.S. member firm of KPMG International, led to New Century’s collapse, according to lawsuits filed yesterday in state court in Los Angeles and federal court in New York. The suits, filed against both KPMG International and KPMG LLP, seek at least $1 billion in damages. “Once an auditing firm lacks independence, then their audits aren’t worth the paper they’re written on,” Steven Thomas, an attorney for New Century Trustee Alan M. Jacobs, said yesterday in an interview. “KPMG had a duty directly to New Century and a duty directly to the public. It was acting as a gatekeeper for a company that was at the center of the housing boom.” New Century, once the second-biggest U.S. subprime mortgage lender, filed for bankruptcy in April 2007 after state regulators revoked its lending licenses and federal officials started two investigations. The company won court approval of a bankruptcy liquidation plan in July that pays unsecured creditors as much as 17 cents on the dollar. ‘Business Failure’
KPMG spokesman Dan Ginsburg said the company hadn’t yet seen the complaint and denied any wrongdoing. “Any implication that the collapse of New Century was related to accounting issues ignores the reality of the global credit crisis,” Ginsburg said yesterday. “This was a business failure, not an accounting issue.” More than a dozen shareholder lawsuits have been consolidated in federal court in Los Angeles. The suits accuse New Century of violating securities laws by concealing the company’s deteriorating financial condition. A consolidated complaint alleges KPMG acted fraudulently as it...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document