U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 20527 / April 15, 2008
Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Release No. 2810 / April 15, 2008
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Savvides & Partners/PKF Cyprus, et al., Civil Action No. 06 CV 2223 (S.D.N.Y.)
PKF Cyprus Agrees to Injunction in Fraud Settlement in Connection With Audits of AremisSoft; Agrees to Pay $261,565 in Civil Penalties, Disgorgement and Prejudgment Interest
Savvides & Partners/PKF Cyprus (PKF Cyprus), a Cyprus-based accounting firm, has consented to the entry of a final judgment in the Commission's case charging it engaged in fraud in connection with its 1999 and 2000 audits of AremisSoft Corporation. The firm agreed to settle without admitting or denying the allegations in the Commission's complaint. The settlement, which is subject to Court approval, would permanently enjoin PKF Cyprus from violating or aiding and abetting violations of the anti-fraud, reporting, books and records and internal controls provisions of the federal securities laws: Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Sections 10(b), 13(a), 13(b)(2)(A) and 13(b)(2)(B) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) and Exchange Act Rules 10b-5, 12b-20, 13a-1 and 13b2-1. As part of this settlement, and following the entry of the proposed final judgment against it, PKF Cyprus, without admitting or denying the Commission's findings, has consented to the issuance of an administrative order pursuant to Rule 102(e)(3) of the Commission's Rules of Practice, suspending it from appearing or practicing before the Commission as an accountant, with the right to apply for reinstatement after five years. PKF Cyprus will disgorge $106,513, which includes fees received as a result of its engagements to audit the financial statements of AremisSoft, with prejudgment interest of $48,539, and a $106,513 civil money penalty.
In its complaint filed March 21, 2006, the Commission alleged that PKF Cyprus issued audit reports for AremisSoft subsidiaries in 1999 and 2000 signed by former firm partner Pavlos Meletiou (also named as a defendant in the complaint) that falsely stated that its audits were conducted in accordance with U.S. Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (U.S. GAAS) and that the subsidiaries' financial statements were fairly presented in accordance with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (U.S. GAAP). The false financial statements of these companies were included as part of AremisSoft's consolidated financial statements filed with AremisSoft's year 1999 and 2000 Forms 10-K filed with the Commission, and in AremisSoft registration statements. The complaint also alleges that the PKF Cyprus audit workpapers prepared by Meletiou during the 2000 audits of two AremisSoft subsidiaries, found in a trash heap outside AremisSoft's Indian offices, included phony customer and bank confirmations. The complaint further alleges that Meletiou attended meetings with senior AremisSoft executives in which the AremisSoft financial fraud was openly discussed.
For additional information, see Litigation Release No. 19622 / March 22, 2006.