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SEC charges Rio Tinto with fraud

Jaclyn Jaeger | October 18, 2017

The Securities and Exchange Commission this week charged mining company Rio Tinto and two former top executives with fraud for inflating the value of coal assets acquired for $3.7 billion and sold a few years later for $50 million.

The SEC complaint, filed in federal court in Manhattan, alleges that Rio Tinto, its former CEO Thomas Albanese, and its former CFO Guy Elliott failed to follow accounting standards and company policies to accurately value and record its assets. Instead, the complaint states, as the project began to suffer one setback after another resulting in the rapid decline of the value of the coal assets, they sought to hide or delay disclosure of the nature and extent of the adverse developments from Rio Tinto’s board, audit committee, independent auditors, and investors.

“As alleged in our complaint, Rio Tinto... To get the full story, subscribe now.