The shareholders’ lobby group VEB is taking legal action against accountancy group Deloitte and 178 of its partners over the 2003 Ahold book-keeping fraud.
‘Deloitte’s accountants are jointly responsible for the damage to investors involved in the Ahold case,’ the VEB said in a website statement. ‘The VEB does not want that to go unpunished.’
Deloitte was the house accountant which ‘wrongly approved’ Ahold’s books in the years prior to the scandal breaking. All shareholders who lost money in the scandal can join the VEB’s campaign.
The Ahold case was the biggest accounting fraud in Dutch financial history. The scandal broke in February 2003 when Ahold announced it had to restate its 2001 and 2002 figures because of serious financial irregularities at its US division US Food Service.
In 2005 Ahold reached an out-of-court settlement of $1.1bn with shareholders who lost money when the company’s share price plunged.
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