WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board on Tuesday said it has sanctioned KPMG LLP’s former vice chair of audit for his role in a high-profile leak of information from the accounting industry oversight body.
The PCAOB fined Scott Marcello $100,000, its largest ever penalty against an individual, for failing to reasonably supervise KPMG personnel who engaged in a scheme to illegally obtain and use confidential PCAOB information, the board said in a statement. The settlement marked the first time the PCAOB has imposed sanctions for “failure reasonably to supervise,” it said.
During Marcello’s tenure as KPMG’s vice chair of audit from July 2015 until April 2017, several of Marcello’s subordinates including his direct report obtained confidential lists of upcoming audits, which they used to help pass PCAOB inspections. Marcelo failed to take appropriate action after learning in early 2016 that personnel had obtained the highly confidential information, the board said.
KPMG did not respond to request for comment, and Marcello could not be reached immediately for comment.
PCAOB Chair Erica Williams said the “first of its kind” disciplinary action was a sign of the board’s commitment to sanctioning top-level personnel at the largest firms.
In 2019, KPMG paid a civil penalty for illicit use of the PCAOB data and cheating on training exams. Former employees from KPMG were found guilty of taking part in the scheme after charges were unveiled in 2018.
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