Dena's Feed
Dec 10, 2013

Clubby ties between U.S. CEOs and board audit committees: study

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Almost 40 percent of U.S. corporate directors with responsibility for monitoring the profit-and-loss ledger have social ties to the chief executive, a study says, making them look more like lapdogs than watchdogs.

Conducted by two accounting professors at Tilburg University in The Netherlands, the study reinforces long-held perceptions of a clubby culture on U.S. corporate boards, where members seldom challenge the executives they are meant to police.

Dec 3, 2013

U.S. appeals court affirms contempt judgment for anarchist

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A federal appeals court has upheld a contempt judgment against a self-described anarchist who refused to testify before a grand jury thought to be investigating a 2008 bomb explosion in New York’s Times Square.

Gerald Koch, 24, of Brooklyn was sent to jail in May after being found in civil contempt for refusing to testify, citing his rights under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Nov 12, 2013

Bankers’ lawsuit jeopardizes U.S. tax dodger crackdown: lawyers

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – A court challenge by Texas and Florida bankers threatens to undermine a broad U.S. government crackdown on offshore tax avoidance and jeopardize a web of carefully crafted international agreements, tax lawyers said on Tuesday.

The Texas Bankers Association and the Florida Bankers Association, both industry groups, have filed a lawsuit attempting to block a new U.S. Treasury Department rule governing accounts held by foreigners in U.S. banks.

Oct 30, 2013

PwC gobbles up Booz & Co as Big 4 rebuild in consulting

By Dena Aubin and Kevin Drawbaugh

(Reuters) – PricewaterhouseCoopers said on Wednesday it agreed to buy Booz & Co., ratcheting up an aggressive move by large audit firms back into the lucrative consulting business more than 10 years after U.S. regulators tried to tease apart the two sectors.

PwC PWC.UL, one of the world’s Big Four audit firms, said it will buy corporate consultancy Booz for undisclosed terms. Subject to approval by Booz’s partners, the transaction was the latest in a string of similar acquisitions.

Sep 30, 2013

Bank of America in record settlement over ‘robocall’ complaints

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bank of America has agreed to pay $32 million to settle charges that it made harassing debt collection calls to customers’ cell phones, in what is believed to be the largest cash payout ever under a 1991 law meant to protect consumers from unwanted calls.

The settlement will resolve multiple proposed class action lawsuits filed on behalf of 7.7 million of the bank’s credit card and mortgage loan customers, according to court documents.

Sep 20, 2013

Lawsuit accuses JPMorgan of exposing Social Security numbers

NEW YORK (Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co has been hit with a proposed class action lawsuit accusing it of printing Social Security numbers on the outsides of form letters mailed to customers to tell them about the bank’s efforts to protect their private information.

Filed on Thursday in federal court in Chicago, the lawsuit accused the largest bank in the United States of violating federal and state laws and subjecting its customers to increased risk of identity theft.

Sep 9, 2013

JPMorgan in $300 million settlement over force-placed insurance

NEW YORK (Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and a major insurer have agreed to a $300 million settlement to resolve accusations that they forced homeowners into over-priced property insurance and entered into kickback arrangements that inflated the policies’ prices.

The lawsuit being settled – one of several targeting large U.S. banks over force-placed insurance – said that the improper practices unjustly enriched JPMorgan and insurer Assurant Inc by more than $1 billion since 2008.

Aug 19, 2013

Watchdog finds problems in dozens of U.S. broker-dealer audits

NEW YORK, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Many financial auditors are
failing to properly check for accounting fraud risks at U.S.
broker-dealers or test controls over customer funds, new
inspections mandated by Congress after Bernard Madoff’s massive
Ponzi scheme have found.

In its second inspection report on broker-dealer audits, the
Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, an auditor watchdog,
said it found problems at 95 percent of the 60 audits it

Aug 16, 2013

CFTC asks court not to dismiss suit against U.S. Bancorp unit

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. regulators on Thursday asked a federal court not to dismiss their lawsuit against a bank tied to the blow-up of brokerage Peregrine Financial, saying the bank helped bring about millions of dollars of losses for Peregrine customers.

At issue is a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission in June against U.S. Bank N.A., a unit of U.S. Bancorp, based in Minneapolis. The lawsuit accused the bank of letting Peregrine founder Russell Wasendorf Sr secure loans against money that belonged to his brokerage’s customers.

Jul 24, 2013

Former SEC chief accountant named to U.S. accounting board

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A former chief accountant of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has been named to the private board that sets corporate accounting standards as it conducts a controversial overhaul of corporate America’s bookkeeping.

James Kroeker, 44, will be a vice chairman of the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board, the board’s parent organization, the Financial Accounting Foundation said in a statement on Wednesday.