Wednesday 7 October 2020 9:30 pm

BDO may be forced to bail out Spanish sister firm after €126.8m penalty

Accountancy firm BDO may be forced to bail out its Spanish sister company which has been slapped with a €126.8m (£115m) over its role in an accounting scandal.

BDO was among those convicted by Spain’s highest criminal court for its involvement in falsifying the accounts of fishing firm Pescanova between 2010 and 2012.

The Audiencia Nacional ruled that BDO, Pescanova and six former directors should reimburse investors for their losses. The penalty, with compensation, amounts to €126.8m.

The court found BDO guilty of falsifying financial and economic information and concluded it knew the fishing firm had faked accounts to hide its debts.

BDO told the Spanish news agency Europa Press it would appeal the decision saying it had “been deceived and were victims of the schemes and frauds organised by Pescanova management.”

“The sentence is not yet set and we would like to confirm that we have already begun proceedings to appeal it as soon as possible”, the firm added.

The firm’s Spanish sister company is a separate entity but a huge penalty could force a bailout by BDO’s other operations, including its UK office.

BDO UK declined to comment. BDO Global did not respond to a request for comment.