U.K. Watchdog Says Former AssetCo Execs Acted Recklessly

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By David R. Jones

The U.K. Financial Reporting Council issued a disciplinary complaint Jan. 25 against three former top executives of emergency services company AssetCo plc.

The complaint focuses on the conduct of John Shannon, former AssetCo chief executive officer—as well as former chief financial officer Raymond Flynn and former financial controller Matthew Boyle—in preparing and approving the company’s financial statements for the financial years ending March 31, 2009 and March 31, 2010.

‘Acting Recklessly.’

The three former executives “acted dishonestly or recklessly and breached the fundamental principles of integrity and objectivity” in preparing the financial statements, FRC alleged.

The complaint encompasses an array of concerns in the financial statements.

The council sets and enforces accounting, auditing and actuarial standards for the U.K. and the Republic of Ireland.

FRC’s executive counsel and its enforcement division now will carry out an investigation into the former executives, all of whom are members of Chartered Accountants Ireland. If, after the investigation, the case is referred to an independent tribunal, the former managers could face financial penalties, sanctions—such as being barred from accounting practice for a set length of time—or both.

Providing Fire, Rescue Services

Monmouth, U.K.-based AssetCo chiefly provides management and resources to fire and emergency services in the Middle East, a notice on the company’s web site said.

Its work includes supplying outsourced fire and rescue operations for the government of the United Arab Emirates.

Separate Investigation of Grant Thornton

FRC is also conducting a separate investigation started in August 2014 into the conduct of Grant Thornton UK LLP and AssetCo in the preparation, approval and audit of the company’s financial statements covering the reporting years March 31, 2008 to March 31, 2010.

This investigation encompasses ”the preparation of financial information leading up to the identification of the restatement reported in the financial statements” for the period ending Sept. 30, 2011, the council said.

For More Information

To contact the reporter on this story: David R. Jones in London at correspondents@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: S. Ali Sartipzadeh at asartipzadeh@bna.com

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