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September 24, 2023

Oh Look, Deloitte Has More Trouble Thanks to a Chinese Audit Client

Just when you thought Deloitte's China rash had gone into remission, some investors come along who don't think too highly of the audit performed by D to the T. In this particular case, the investors are a group of investment funds including Columbia Pacific Opportunity Fund LP and Fir Tree Value Master Fund LP who, according to the Bloomberg report, are trying to recover some losses they had in a NASDAQ-listed company called ChinaCast Education Corp: 

“Deloitte recklessly failed to conduct even the most basic audit procedures and blatantly violated numerous accounting standards1,” the funds said in the Feb. 15 complaint, citing losses in the “tens of millions.” 
That sounds all straight-forward enough except when you learn that this all began with an SPE called Great Wall Acquisition Corp. who gobbled up ChinaCast, took on its name, and started trading on the U.S exchange. And here's the fun stuff:
The company took out massive loans and pledged its assets to third parties without making disclosure to investors, according to the complaint. Its former chief executive officer also engaged in “brazen looting” by diverting $35 million in cash to parties outside the company, the funds alleged.
There's nothing quite like hidden secured loans and brazen looting by an executive to get investors' panties in a twist, is there?
1 We can't really expect some lawyers to understand the difference between an auditor's and their client's responsibilities.

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