PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is being investigated following a shareholder complaint over an audit it conducted into an investment body based in Guernsey, the Sunday Times reported.
The accountancy giant was approached by the the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), the paper said, over concerns raised about an audit conducted for Juridica Investments, an AIM-listed vehicle which invests in US lawsuits by funding claimants and then taking a share of winnings.
The ICAEW, which is prohibited from commenting on ongoing investigations, is able to seek criminal convictions when individuals and companies discredit accountancy.
The Sunday Times said the investigation was looking at the 2014 audit of Juridica’s accounts, and the treatment of a loan repayment as a profit
Juridica said last month that it planned to delist and appoint liquidators, after its stock price steadily tumbled since listed 11 years ago. It was set up by Richard Fields, a American lawyer, who sold his stake in the company in 2015.
PwC said it believed the complaint was baseless, adding it had requested a meeting with the audit regulator.
“The ICAEW is looking into a complaint it has received from a Juridica shareholder. We believe it is without merit and are meeting with the ICAEW to help it with its inquiries,” a PwC spokesperson told City A.M.
A spokesperson for for Juridica Investments did not immediately reply to a request for comment.