Two former partners of KPMG have been indefinitely barred from practicing as accountants before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for their roles in the Big Four audit firm’s cheating scandal.
Britt and Whittle have each already been sentenced by the Department of Justice for their actions as part of the scandal. Britt was ordered to be deported to his native Australia to serve six months of home confinement after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, while Whittle was sentenced to two years of supervised release after pleading guilty to wire fraud and corruption charges. The two got off relatively easy compared to other key figures in the scandal, several of whom received prison time.
The scandal involved KPMG employees being provided confidential information on certain of the 2016 inspection selections by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board in an effort to cheat the system. The firm agreed to pay $50 million in June 2019 to settle charges from the SEC related to the misconduct, which also included allegations of cheating on internal exams that were covered in the settlement.
Whittle, a former inspections leader at KPMG, was a key informant in the government’s case and was similarly lauded by the SEC for his cooperation.