12-124MR Perth auditor charged by ASIC for failing to be independent
Tuesday 12 June 2012
Mr Kevin Clarence Somes, a partner in the Perth-based audit firm Somes Cooke, appeared in the Perth Magistrates’ Court on Friday 8 June 2012 to face a total of 18 charges brought by ASIC. Six charges relate to Mr Somes allegedly failing to be independent as an auditor and 12 charges relate to Mr Somes allegedly making a false or misleading statement to ASIC.
ASIC alleges that between 2007 and 2010, immediate family members of Mr Somes held significant shareholdings through their superannuation fund in a listed company that he audited. ASIC also alleges that Mr Somes subsequently lodged documents with ASIC that contained a false declaration about his compliance with the auditor independence requirements under the Corporations Act 2001.
The matter has been adjourned for a mention hearing at the Perth Magistrates’ Court on 31 August 2012 and is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
Auditors of companies and their immediate family members are prohibited from holding an asset that is a material beneficial interest in an audited company. Auditors should be aware of the auditor independence requirements set out in the Corporations Act.