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Canada's OSC takes Ernst & Young to task on Sino-Forest

Dec 04 2012 Reuters

Canadian regulators said on Monday Ernst & Young had conducted improper audits of Sino-Forest Corp in the years before fraud allegations brought down its client, and the accounting firm said it reached a settlement in a class-action suit by Sino shareholders. Dimitri Lascaris, a partner at Siskinds LLP and co-lead counsel for the investor class action, said he believes the auditor settlement, at C$117 million ($118 million), was the biggest of its kind in Canadian history. The news came on the same day as the Ontario Securities Commission announced formal allegations against the auditor and about a year and a half after short-seller Carson Block first accused Sino-Forest of grossly exaggerating its assets. Block's report touched off a firestorm that led to the company's delisting and insolvency, as well as a flurry of regulatory actions and lawsuits. The OSC's staff allege that Ernst & Young's audits for 2007 to 2010 failed to measure up to industry standards in verifying the

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