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Schapiro aims parting SEC salvo at accounting professional

Dec 17 2012 Stuart Gittleman, Compliance Complete

In her last official act before retiring on Friday, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro ordered a former Ernst & Young audit partner to be suspended from appearing or practicing before the SEC as an accountant for six months, but reduced the duration from a judge's original order. Commissioner Elisse Walter, who will be replacing Schapiro on an interim basis, joined in the ruling, which was issued on Thursday and halved the one-year suspension of the accountant, Wendy McNeely, an SEC administrative law judge had ordered. The SEC found that McNeely engaged in improper professional conduct, in breach of Rule of Practice 102(e), by engaging in "a single instance of highly unreasonable conduct that results in a violation of applicable professional standards in circumstances in which an accountant knows, or should know, that heightened scrutiny is warranted." Commissioner Troy Paredes concurred in the findings but said any suspension is punitive rather than remedial,

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