The Securities and Exchange Commission said Tuesday that a “significant number” of the accounting firm’s auditors cheated on the ethics portion of the Certified Public Accountant test and other courses needed to maintain the licenses. Perhaps more stunningly, the SEC said that Ernst & Young “made a submission” that it didn’t have “current issues with cheating when, in fact, the firm had been informed of potential cheating on a CPA ethics exam.”
The $100 million fine is its largest ever against an auditing firm.
“This action involves breaches of trust by gatekeepers within the gatekeeper entrusted to audit many of our nation’s public companies,” said Gurbir Grewal, director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, in a press release. “It’s simply outrageous that the very professionals responsible for catching cheating by clients cheated on ethics exams of all things.”
He added that it’s “equally shocking” they hindered its investigation….