The Dutch accountancy disciplinary council has criticised Deloitte for failures in the way it approved accounts at Ahold’s subsidiary, US Foodservice, without ‘sufficient certainty that they were correct’, ANP reported on Monday.
In 2003, it emerged that US Foodservice was embroiled in a multi-million-dollar fraud involving discounts to suppliers. Deloitte had not been ‘sharp enough in its controls’, the council said.
The case was brought by lobby group Sobi, which campaigns for improved financial reporting. Sobi says the way is now open for major damages claims against Deloitte.
By wrongly approving the figures, Ahold’s share price was kept high and investors paid too much for their shares, Sobi spokesman Pieter Lakeman told ANP. Lakeman said he would now approach a number of institutional investors to see if they were interested in putting in a claim.
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