Debevoise & Plimpton and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr guided Big Four accounting firm Ernst & Young in a $100 million settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission after investigators found its employees cheated on licensing exams.
Ernst & Young admitted that a “significant number” of its auditors cheated on the ethics component of an exam required to earn a certified public accountant license and various other courses required to maintain a CPA license. The firm’s admission of wrongdoing is a departure from the SEC’s usual “no admit, no deny” practice, but the commission under the Biden administration has signaled a greater willingness to require companies to admit wrongdoing.
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