Two Pricewaterhouse Coopers officials arrested in Satyam fraud case

January 25th, 2009 - 6:40 pm ICT by ANI  

Ramalinga Raju

Hyderabad, Jan.25 (ANI): The Crime Branch of the Andhra Pradesh Police arrested two senior auditing executives of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on Saturday here for their role in the multi-crore Satyam fraud.
PricewaterhouseCoopers was the company of auditors for Satyam Computers Services Limited and its role has been widely criticised for overlooking the manipulations mooted by B Ramalinga Raju, the founder and former Chairman of Satyam Computers.
Soon after their arrest, the PwC executives were sent to judicial remand till February 6.
The fraud-hit Satyam has been struggling for survival since January 7 when its founder Ramalinga Raju resigned as chairman revealing profits have been overstated for years and that one billion dollars in cash on the books did not exist.
In the latest developments, the auditors have been slapped with charges of cheating, forgery, criminal breach of trust and criminal conspiracy as per the Indian Penal Code.
“Matter stands postponed on 27th. On 28th, we have to issue notice to the public prosecutor for the matter to be taken up…….and they have been remanded to judicial custody till the 6th of February,” said Mastan Naidu, counsel for the arrested executives of PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Earlier this month PWC said its opinions on the outsourcer’’s financial statement may be rendered “inaccurate and unreliable”.
After the fraud became public, the Government of India nominated a new six-member board to contain the fallout of one of the country’’s largest corporate scandals, dubbed “India’’s Enron”.
The new board, which has appointed auditors KPMG and Deloitte to restate the accounts, is working to secure funding to pay salaries and other bills and appoint a chief executive and chief financial officer to steer Satyam out of the mess.
Amid these developments potential buyers have begun circling Satyam, eyeing a global client base, which includes General Electric and Nestle.
Larsen and Toubro, India’’s top engineering and construction firm had raised its stakes in Satyam to 12 percent from 4 percent to protect its interest.
U.S-based midsized outsourcer iGate Corp has also confirmed that it would be interested in buying Satyam and was in touch with private equity firms to fund a possible deal. (ANI)

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