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Are Deloittes corrupt, totally corrupt, utterly corrupt or totally and utterly corrupt?

Whenever there’s a major financial scandal, usually one of Britain’s “Big Four” accountancies (KPMG, E&Y, Deloittes, PwC) is involved. Of these, Deloittes frequently seem to be around when murky going-ons are going on.

Readers of this blog will know that in 2005, just after my book RIP-OFF was published, I was contacted by a senior forensic accountant from Deloittes who claimed he had evidence that Fred Goodwin (then running the Deloittes team doing the BCCI liquidation) and other execs had allegedly defrauded BCCI creditors of over £50m. (I suspect MPs Austin Mitchell and Keith Vaz know a bit about this). I reported this to the SFO and the Bank of England. In particular, I talked to the chief legal counsel at the BoE about whether Fred Goodwin was a fit and proper person to run a major bank if he was allegedly a fraudster. Ay the time, Fred was a great mate of Gordon and Tony, so the BoE did nothing and that decision cost British taxpayers £45bn. Fred Goodwin retired with his £320,000+ pension and the BoE’s legal counsel will also live and retire a very rich man at taxpayers’ expense. Anyone who says crime doesn’t pay is either a liar or a fool.

Then we had the largest bankruptcy in British history – Fred Goodwin’s RBS. Who earned tens of millions providing acountancy and consultancy to RBS? Yes, Deloittes. Just months before RBS’s crash, Deloittes signed off RBS’s accounts (if I remember correctly). Moreover, Deloittes’ figures and seal of approval were used by RBS to get shareholder backing for a massive share issue allowing RBS to buy ABN Amro. We now know RBS’s figures were total and utter horse shit. Thanks, Deloittes.

And now we have a huge scrap developing between US computer giant HP (Hewlett Packard) and British IT firm Autonomy which HP bought for about $11.bn. It appears that due to legal but creative accounting, many of Autonomy’s sales were not quite as profitable as was first thought. And who signed off Autonomy’s accounts just six months before the HP deal? Deloittes of course.

In addition, there have been several stories of allegedly corrupt Deloittes partners deliberately driving British companies into administration so Deloittes could pick up the generous administration fees and sell off the assets at well below market value to friends and associates with the loss of hundreds of British jobs. The story of David Fabb Industries is just one of these. There have been court cases, but what chance did bankrupt entrepreneurs have against the financial might of Deloittes?

So, if you ever get the stench of financial wrongdoing, it’s not improbable that our friends at Deloittes will be deeply involved.

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