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Some Former New Century Execs Are Not Having a Good Monday

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 140px-United_States_Securities_and_Exchange_Commission.pngFormer executives of New Century, the Southern California subprime lender that filed for bankruptcy in 2007, are the latest examples on the SEC’s “We’re Back to Cracking Skulls” tour. The SEC has filed a civil complaint against former CEO Brad Morrice, CFO Patti Dodge, and controller David Kenneally.
From the press release:

In its complaint, the SEC alleges that New Century disclosures generally sought to assure investors that its business was not at risk and was performing better than its peers. Defendants, however, failed to disclose important negative information, including dramatic increases in early loan defaults, loan repurchases, and pending loan repurchase requests. Defendants knew this negative information from numerous internal reports they regularly received, including weekly reports that Morrice ominously entitled “Storm Watch.”
The complaint also alleges that Dodge and Kenneally fraudulently accounted for expenses related to bad loans that it had to repurchase. In the face of dramatically increasing loan repurchases and a huge, undisclosed backlog of repurchase demands, Kenneally, with Dodge’s knowledge, made changes to New Century’s accounting for loan repurchases in both the second and third quarters of 2006. These undisclosed accounting changes violated generally accepted accounting principles and resulted in New Century’s improperly avoiding substantial repurchase expenses and materially overstating its financial results.

“Violated generally accepted accounting principles” has got to make more than a few people at KPMG nervous. Especially if you’re the partner that wrote, ‘As far as I am concerned, we are done. The client thinks we are done. All we are going to do is piss everybody off.’ We’re guessing he/she wasn’t on the ‘Storm Watch’ mailing list, otherwise KPMG might not have a $1 billion lawsuit on its hands.
SEC Charges Former Officers of Subprime Lender New Century With Fraud [SEC Press Relase]
Also see:
SEC Charges Former New Century Executives With Fraud [WSJ]
S.E.C. Accuses 3 New Century Ex-Officers of Fraud [DealBook]