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SEC Charges BDO USA, Partners for Misleading Audit Opinions

Joe Mont | September 9, 2015

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged national audit firm BDO USA with dismissing red flags and issuing false and misleading unqualified audit opinions about the financial statements of staffing services company General Employment Enterprises.

The SEC, in a statement issued on Wednesday, also charged five of the firm’s partners for their roles in the deficient audits, filing fraud charges against the client company’s then-chairman of the board and majority shareholder Stephen B. Pence, a former U.S. attorney and former lieutenant governor of Kentucky.

BDO agreed to admit wrongdoing, pay disgorgement of its audit fees and interest totaling approximately $600,000, and pay a $1.5 million penalty in addition to complying with undertakings related to its quality...

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