SEC Charges CPA and Accounting Firm Over Highly Deficient Audits
March 1, 2019
File Nos. 3-19010 and 3-19011
IN THE MATTER OF DLL CPAs, LLC and DEBRA LEE LINDAMAN
IN THE MATTER OF ARTHUR VIOLA
March 1, 2019 – The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Debra Lee Lindaman and her CPA firm, DLL CPAS, LLC, agreed to settle charges that they conducted highly deficient audits and interim reviews of five public company clients in violation of standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. In addition, the Commission announced settled charges against Arthur Viola for failing to properly conduct engagement quality reviews.
According to an SEC order, Lindaman’s audit and interim review deficiencies included, among other things, the failure to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence, maintain audit documentation, reconcile underlying accounting records to the issuers’ financial statements or footnotes, and perform adequate reviews of interim financial information. The order found that for some of Lindaman’s audits, entire categories of workpapers – comprising the majority of the balance sheet and income statement line items – were either completely missing or lacked documentation concerning procedures performed, evidence obtained, or conclusions reached for these areas. The audits were so deficient that they could not be relied upon to verify the accuracy of the financial statements she audited. A second SEC Order found that Viola, who has never been licensed as a CPA, failed to identify significant areas of judgment, appropriately evaluate identified areas of fraud risk, question contradictions between engagement completion documents and audit planning workpapers, and to identify significant engagement deficiencies in the interim reviews.
Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, DLL and Lindaman consented to an SEC Order that they cease and desist from committing or causing any violations or future violations of Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act, and Rules 13a-1 and 13a-13 thereunder, and Regulation S-X Rule 2-02(b)(1). They are also ordered to pay, on a joint and several basis, monetary relief of over $50,000, and each is denied the privilege of appearing or practicing before the Commission as an accountant. With regard to Viola, without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, he consented to an order that he cease and desist from committing or causing any violations or future violations of Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act, and Rules 13a-1 and 13a-13 thereunder, and Regulation S-X Rule 2-02(b)(1). He is also denied the privilege of appearing or practicing before the Commission as an accountant with the right to apply for reinstatement after five years. Based on sworn representations in his Statement of Financial Condition, disgorgement and interest are waived and the Commission is not imposing a civil penalty against Viola.
The SEC’s investigation was conducted by Nancy McGinley and Eric Hubbs and supervised by Anita B. Bandy.