A Landmark Fine

A Big Six accounting firm pays $400 million for being too easy on S&Ls

BLAME FOR THE SAVINGS AND LOAN FIASCO FALLS not just on executives of the thrift institutions but also on accountants and lawyers who closed their eyes to clients' shenanigans. So says the U.S. government, which claims a "landmark" victory in making that case. Ernst & Young, one of the Big Six accounting firms, agreed to pay a near record fine of $400 million to settle a slew of cases charging it with failing to blow a whistle on S&Ls it audited. For example, say the feds, the firm failed to challenge fictitious sales of real estate made by the now defunct...

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