Deloitte has another lawsuit on its hands that is seemingly back from the dead. After last week’s revival of the Washington Mutual shareholders’ lawsuit, a suit in New York has gained new life after Deloitte initially won a dismissal.
The plaintiff in the case, Symbol Technologies, is proving tenacious:
…the panel found that Symbol Technologies had sufficiently alleged that the “continuous representation” exception to the statute of limitations and the company’s amended complaint “trigger[ed]” the “adverse interest” exception to the in pari delicto doctrine.
“Symbol’s pleading is sufficient to establish that the parties mutually contemplated that Deloitte’s work and representation for each audit year would continue after the issuance of the audit opinion/report and, therefore, the continuous representation doctrine applies,” Justice Leonard B. Austin wrote for the 4-0 panel in Symbol Technologies v. Deloitte & Touche, 2008-06642.
He later added, “In its amended complaint, Symbol set forth sufficient allegations that members of its senior management committed accounting fraud for their own benefit and totally abandoned its interest, thereby triggering the adverse interest exception.”
Nothing too fancy. Just a good, old-fashioned case of senior management fraud not being detected by the auditors:
Symbol’s lawsuit against its former auditing firm stems from an accounting-fraud scandal at Symbol that culminated with the technology giant agreeing to pay the Securities and Exchange Commission $37 million and shareholders an additional $100 million.
The SEC had charged Symbol, a Long Island, N.Y.,-based supplier of mobile information systems, and 11 of its former executives with numerous fraudulent accounting practices that together overstated the company’s reported revenue for the fiscal years of 1998 through 2001 by more than $230 million and its pre-tax earnings by more than $530 million.
The fraud resulted in overpayments to Symbol’s senior management of more than $100 million.
At least eight former Symbol executives have pleaded guilty to various charges stemming from the fraud. The company’s former chief executive, Tomo Razmilovic, remains a fugitive, living in Bussevik, Sweden.
Symbol sued Deloitte & Touche, now known as Deloitte, in November 2005, alleging the “Big Four” auditor had failed to detect the fraud. The company’s complaint does not specify the amount of damages sought.
The amount of damages being sought by Symbol hasn’t been disclosed but you’d figure Deloitte could cough up $137 mil just to put the company back to square one. But no, Deloitte is as equally determined, saying ‘the action is without merit and intends vigorously to defend this matter’.
Sorry. With a sub-par year in revenues and breaking ground on the new Animal House, Big D can’t spare the change. We’ll see you in another ten years when this thing is finally settled.
Symbol Technologies’ Massive Malpractice Action Against Deloitte Is Reinstated [New York Law Journal vi Law.com]
Deloitte has managed to keep its name out of the news lately, except for breaking ground at its version of Animal House and releasing the number of employees it has on LinkedIn.
On a more litigious note, Deloitte has managed to keep its name out of well publicized lawsuits, whether they relate to Madoff feeder funds or subprime lenders. Until now, that is.
According to AM Law Litigation Daily, a judge in Seattle has allowed a revised lawsuit to proceed that lists “Washington Mutual officers and directors, underwriters, and the auditing firm Deloitte & Touche” as defendants.
The revised lawsuit was trimmed down to a “concise” 267 pages from the original 388 that the judge described as “verbose” and “disorganized”.
The plaintiffs allege that “offering documents contained “materially misstated financial returns for WaMu” and that “offering documents contain false or misleading statements as to WaMu’s internal controls”.
Specifically — without getting into too many gory details — the plaintiffs say that WaMu did not have a sufficient loan allowance in a “manner commensurate with the quality of its home mortgage products” and that their “Loan Performance Risk Model” that determined the allowance, was basically bunk.
Deloitte, as the auditors, was supposed to call WaMu on all this shoddy work and the plaintiffs aren’t satisfied with the job they did. Unfortunately, this all amounts to a pretty major (and long) headache for Deloitte but their attorneys at Latham and Watkins are probably grateful.
Let us be the first to welcome Deloitte back to the high-profile litigation party.
Second Time’s the Charm for Plaintiffs in Washington Mutual Complaint [AM Law Litigation Daily via Law Review]
Presumably this new $300 million, 800 room facility in Westlake, Texas will help centralize the destruction caused by Deloittians when they attend various training sessions. If you’ve got any additional details or opinions on this new Mecca in the Deloitte universe, kindly enlighten us.
Oh, and they finally released their global revenue numbers.
Deloitte ended the suspense today, issuing their global revenues for fiscal year 2009 and issuing their “annual review”. For the past couple of months, we were speculating about the holdup since they have historically been issued much earlier.
Most of the comments at that time were taking the under on the revenues and they were right, as Deloitte came in at $26.1 billion. This was down 4.9% but the firm kindly reminds everyone that in local currency, there was actually growth of 1%, thankyouverymuch.
This, despite all the charts on Deloitte’s website showing the drop of 4.9%. Jim Quigley, Global CEO, and going with the local currency figures:
“Achieving positive growth in this exceptionally difficult economic environment was the result of close attention to the needs of clients and a strong commitment to professional excellence by our member firm professionals. Despite the tough economy, we remain focused on our vision to be the standard of excellence and will continue to invest in pursuit of this vision”
In addition to JQ’s assessment, an explanation of revenues by functional area continue to refer to growth while the chart shows decreases in revenues when compared to the prior fiscal year:
Consulting was the fastest growing function at 7.3 percent. Reflecting the challenging economy, both audit and tax were relatively flat against the prior year. Financial advisory services decreased by 6.1 percent from the prior year, primarily due to substantially decreased merger and acquisition activity.
On the chart, consulting was shown to only grow 2%, tax decreased by 5.5%, audit by 6.4%, and financial advisory by 13.8%. So, yeah, a little confusing. Not to mention that all of the charts present this information in what appears to be Enron Beezlebub.
Deloitte presents a whole bunch of additional information that is much larger, including how awesome the firm’s social network presence is:
• Over 75,000 members on Linked In
• Over 11,000 fans of their Facebook page
• Over 2,000 followers on their Twitter feed
And since they knew you were wondering, Deloitte uses 2.59 MWh of electricity per person, which amounts to carbon emissions of 1.31 Mt CO2 per person. Again, since this information is in much larger font, we’ll go out on a limb and assume that it positive news.
Seems like the typical spin, so we’ll take it for what it’s worth. Discuss your thoughts on Deloitte’s numbers and what it’s Facebook status might be in the comments.
Wunderkind is a little premature but we’re hopeful! Awhile back we encouraged you to help the ailing Securities and Exchange Commission get its act together. We had really no expectation that anyone would take us seriously.
On Friday, the Commission announced that 29-year old Adam Storch would be the new Chief Operating Officer of the enforcement division. Storch joined the SEC on October 13th to assume the newly created position.
It’s pretty obvious that Storch craves letters behind his name as he has “certifications in accounting, fraud examination and auditing” according to Bloomberg. JDA isn’t impressed:
As a 28 year old myself let me tell you, this is beyond disheartening. We should not be in charge of anything, much less our nation’s regulatory enforcement. We are a generation of self-centered, lazy morons (yeah I said it) and sure there are a few exceptions but for the most part, no one my age will do anything unless they get a pat on the head and a “good boy” gold star just for pissing in the toilet instead of on the floor.
The biggest headline grabber (aside from urination accuracy) is that Storch is an ex-Goldman employee which is all fine and dandy for conspiratorial purposes but he is also an ex-Uncle Dangler where he was a, GASP, “senior analyst”. He’s definitely kicking himself for missing out on 100% free preventive healthcare.
The ‘Berg doesn’t have many other details on the Enforcement Division’s new fearless leader, so we invite any details on Mr. Storch for those that worked with him. Boxers or briefs? Boozehound or teetotaler? Does he get to carry a gun at the Commission? Since he’s in “enforcement” he’s got to be packing, especially as the COO. Khuzami probably has to take off the trigger locks for him though. Good luck man.
SEC Names Goldman’s Storch as Enforcement Unit Operations Chief [Bloomberg]
Maybe! Deloitte won’t commit to that but Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert says its a done deal.
Well, sorta: “Leppert said Deloitte has not yet signed a lease, but he’s confident the company will finalize a lease to consolidate nearly all of its North Texas operations in its existing 150,000 square feet at Chase Tower.”
Hizzoner obviously doesn’t mind jumping the gun here because he’s so psyched about all the Uncle Danglers spending their hard-earned dollars in the downtown area.
Dallas Morning News:
The average Deloitte salary is $100,000, according to a city report to the Dallas City Council Economic Development Committee obtained by The Dallas Morning News. The report estimates that Deloitte would generate an economic impact of more than $3.5 billion to Dallas over 10 years. That impact includes salaries, taxes and spending by employees and clients.
An average salary of $100k? Not bloody likely if you’re including staff and support but hey, DMN, go with it. Help us out Deloitte Dallas, is that number legit or bunk?
On another note, sorry Irving, sounds like you’re SOL on some sweet Deloitte action and Dallas sure as hell isn’t being shy about dancing on your grave. We’re sure you’ll be able to screw them over somehow. Let us know how it goes.
Deloitte may move most of its local offices to Chase Tower in downtown Dallas, mayor says [Dallas Morning News]
Earlier: Apparently $2 Mil Is Enough to Keep Deloitte in Dallas