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Improper Influence on Conduct of Audits

SEC | May 20, 2003

On May 20, the SEC published its adopted rules related to Section 303 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which prohibit
officers and directors from "coercing, manipulating,
misleading, or fraudulently influencing" their outside auditor. The original proposal was published Oct. 18th but only differs slightly from the adopted rule.

Key components, details, effective dates and contact information is outlined below:

Basic Concepts

The new rules supplement existing rules (Regulation 13B-2) that address the falsification of books, records and accounts, and false or misleading statements — or omissions to make certain statements — to accountants.

New rule specifically prohibits officers and directors, and persons acting under their direction, "from coercing, manipulating, misleading, or fraudulently influencing the auditor of the issuer's financial statements...

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