People

Suspended Ex-Deloitte Auditor Back in the Saddle

Benched for allegedly helping Adelphia file phony finanicals, he's now back in the SEC's good graces, with a couple of conditions.
Stephen TaubJune 27, 2008

A former Deloitte & Touche accountant who was suspended for improper professional conduct in his audits of Adelphia Communications has been reinstated to eligibility to appear before the Securities and Exchange Commission as an accountant.

The regulator says William Caswell has met all the conditions in its original order and agreed to comply with all requirements of the commission and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, including those relating to registration, inspections, concurring partner reviews, and quality-control standards. Caswell also promised to have his work reviewed by the audit committee of any company for which he works, “or in some other manner acceptable to the commission.”

The suspension of his privilege to appear before the SEC was part of a settlement reached in September 2005. Caswell consented to the order without admitting or denying its allegations.

The improper professional conduct applied to audits of Adelphia’s financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2000. Caswell served as a director and held the most senior, nonpartner position on Deloitte’s Adelphia engagement.

The SEC found that Adelphia’s 2000 financial statements were materially false and misleading and failed to comply with generally accepted accounting principles. In its 2000 annual report, the commission said Adelphia understated its co-borrowing debt by $1.6 billion and improperly netted related-party receivables and payables between Adelphia and entities owned or controlled by its controlling shareholders. The company also failed to disclose the nature and extent of thousands of related-party transactions with these shareholders, according to the SEC.

“Caswell reasonably should have known that Adelphia’s 2000 financial statements had not been prepared in conformity with GAAP,” said the SEC.