Disciplinary decisions 2018

Disciplinary Decisions 2018

  • Recent decision of the disciplinary tribunal of James A Kiernan, 22 November 2018

    10/12/2018 11:04:42

    Finding and order

    It has been found proven that Mr James A. Kiernan, a member of the Institute with an address in Co. Cork, formerly practising as Kiernan & Co, did act in breach of the Institute's Public Practice Regulations:

    7.9 by failing to obtain and provide evidence of Professional Indemnity Insurance run-off cover in respect of his practice; and
    1.28 by failing to co-operate in a timely or adequate manner regarding his confirmation that he was not conducting any professional activities within the parameters of the Institute's Public Practice Regulations;
    And is thereby liable to disciplinary action in accordance with the Institute's Disciplinary Bye-Laws.

    The Disciplinary Tribunal having found the member's actions amounted to poor professional performance ordered that the Member be reprimanded and further orders that the Member pay a fine in the amount of €650 plus a contribution towards the Institute's costs in the matter in the amount of €600.
    This order took effect from 22 November 2018.

    Background and outline of disciplinary matter

    The member failed to co-operate with the Institute's Quality Assurance Committee and Public Practice Regulations by failing to provide:
    1. a signed declaration that he was not conducting any accountancy work which falls within the parameters of the Public Practice Regulations;
    2. a copy of his PII 'run-off' cover for the period from 10 January 2017.

    This disciplinary matter was concluded in accordance with the settlement provisions set out in Chartered Accountants Ireland's Disciplinary Regulations, the proposed terms of settlement having been approved by the Disciplinary Tribunal on 22 November 2018.

    Identification of appropriate orders

    Recognising the benefits of resolution through the settlement process, the Disciplinary Tribunal considered the findings and orders made appropriate having regard to the objectives of the Disciplinary Bye-Laws, the applicable guidelines on sanctioning and the particular facts and circumstances of the matter before it.

    This order took effect from 22 November 2018.

    Reference: Karen Jones, Gibney Communications
    Ph: 01 6610 402


  • John O'Brien - Decision of disciplinary tribunal on 26 October 2018

    09/11/2018 14:40:02

    Finding and Order

    It has been found proven that Mr John O'Brien, a member of the Institute, with an address at The Crestfield Centre, Riverstown, Glanmire, Co. Cork acted in breach of the Institute's Code of Ethics for Members: Fundamental Principles: (a) Integrity; and (e) Professional Behaviour by acting as a director and approving financial statements of a company when restricted under section 150(1) of the Companies Act 1990;

    and is accordingly liable to disciplinary action under the Institute's Disciplinary Bye-Laws.

    The Disciplinary Tribunal ordered that the Member be reprimanded and further orders that the Member pay a fine in the amount of €2,000 plus a contribution towards the Institute's costs in the matter in the amount of €500.

    This order took effect from 26 October 2018.

    Background and outline of disciplinary matter

    The member was the subject of a High Court Order restricting him from acting as a director or company secretary of a company for a period of five years.  During this time the member signed and approved the financial statements of a company as a director of that company.

    This Disciplinary matter was concluded in accordance with the settlement provisions set out in Chartered Accountants Ireland's Disciplinary Regulations, the proposed terms of settlement having been approved by the Disciplinary Tribunal on 26 October 2018.

    Identification of appropriate orders

    Recognising the benefits of resolution through the settlement process, the Disciplinary Tribunal considered the findings and orders made appropriate having regard to the objectives of the Disciplinary Bye-Laws, the applicable guidelines on sanctioning and the particular facts and circumstances of the matter before it.

    Reference: Karen Jones, Gibney Communications
    Ph: 01 6610402


  • Recent decision of the Disciplinary Tribunal of John O'Brien, 26 October 2018

    09/11/2018 11:52:41

    Finding and Order

    It has been found proven that Mr John O'Brien, a member of the Institute, with an address in Co. Cork acted in breach of the Institute's Code of Ethics for Members: Fundamental Principles: (a) Integrity; and (e) Professional Behaviour by reason of his restriction for a period of five years to 24 January 2021 pursuant to section 150(1) of the Companies Act 1990.

    The Disciplinary Tribunal ordered that the Member be reprimanded and further ordered that the Member pay a fine in the amount of €1,000 plus a contribution towards the Institute's costs in the matter in the amount of €500.

    This order took effect from 26 October 2018.

    Background and outline of disciplinary matter

    The member was the subject of a High Court Order restricting him from acting as a director or company secretary of a company for a period of five years arising from his conduct in the affairs of an insolvent company in which he was a director.

    This Disciplinary matter was concluded in accordance with the settlement provisions set out in Chartered Accountants Ireland's Disciplinary Regulations, the proposed terms of settlement having been approved by the Disciplinary Tribunal on 26 October 2018.

    Identification of appropriate orders

    Recognising the benefits of resolution through the settlement process, the Disciplinary Tribunal considered the findings and orders made appropriate having regard to the objectives of the Disciplinary Bye-Laws, the applicable guidelines on sanctioning and the particular facts and circumstances of the matter before it.

    Reference: Karen Jones, Gibney Communications
    Ph: 01 6610402


  • Recent decision of the Disciplinary Tribunal of David Watters, 17 October 2018

    25/10/2018 10:33:22

    Finding and Order

    It has been found proven that Mr David Watters, a member of the Institute, with an address at Number One, Lanyon Quay, Belfast, BT1 3LG, did act in breach of the Institute's Code of Ethics for Members (2016): Fundamental Principle: (e) Professional Behaviour in that on 14 July 2014 the Financial Conduct Authority (the 'Authority'), published its finding that it had imposed a financial penalty upon him pursuant to Section 66 of the Financial Services and Markets Act, 2000 (the 'Act').

    and its accordingly, by virtue of such finding and penalty, liable to disciplinary action under the Institute's Disciplinary Bye-Laws.

    The Disciplinary Tribunal ordered that the Member be severely reprimanded and further ordered that the Member pay a fine in the amount of €1,250 plus costs in the amount of €900.

    This order takes effect from the 17th day of October 2018.

    Background and outline of disciplinary matter

    On 14 July 2017 the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a press release that the Member was fined £75,000 for failing to exercise due skill, care and diligence in his role as compliance oversight officer.

    The sanction was imposed by the FCA following an investigation by it into processes in place for giving advice on Enhanced Transfer Value pension transfer exercises in two entities for which the Member acted as compliance oversight officer.

    A summary of the reasons for the findings against the Member and the facts and matters of the case are set out in the Final Notice issued by the FCA to the Member dated 10 July 2017.  It should be noted that the disciplinary matter relates to the adverse finding against the Member and not the facts and matters which gave rise to that adverse finding.  This matter was referred to the Head of Professional Conduct for consideration in accordance with the disciplinary process.

    The disciplinary matter was concluded in accordance with the settlement provisions set out in Chartered Accountants Ireland's Disciplinary Regulations, the proposed terms of settlement having been approved by the Disciplinary Tribunal on the 17th day of October 2018.

    Identification of appropriate orders

    Recognising the benefits of resolution through the settlement process, the Disciplinary Tribunal considered the findings and orders made appropriate having regard to the objectives of the Disciplinary Bye-Laws, the applicable guidelines on sanctioning and the particular facts and circumstances of the matter before it.

    Reference: Karen Jones, Gibney Communications
    Ph: 01 6610402


  • Recent decision of the Disciplinary Tribunal of Raymond Smyth, 5 September 2018

    25/09/2018 08:46:04

    Finding and Order

    It has been found proven that Mr Raymond Smyth, a member of the Institute, in public practice as Smyth & Co., with an address at the Village Square, Tallaght, Dublin 24

    1. is guilty of Misconduct in that he was reprimanded and disqualified from being a person concerned in the management of any regulated financial service provider for a period of three years by the Central Bank.  This being an act likely to bring discredit to himself, the Institute or the profession of accountancy; and
    2. did act in breach of the Institute's Code of Ethics for Members Fundamental Principles (a) Integrity and (e) Professional behaviour by failing to disclose an adverse finding to the Institute from another Regulatory/Professional body;

    And is accordingly liable to disciplinary action under the Institute's Disciplinary Bye-Laws.

    The Disciplinary Tribunal ordered that the Member be severely reprimanded and further ordered that the Member pay a fine in the amount of €1,000 plus a contribution towards the Institute's costs in the matter in the amount of €3,000.
    This order takes effect from the 5th day of September 2018.

    Background and outline of disciplinary matter

    On 18 May 2016 Professional Standards (then known as CARB) became aware of a press release dated 10 September 2013 issued by the Central Bank of Ireland which indicated that the Central Bank of Ireland reprimanded and disqualified the Member from being a person concerned in the management of any regulated financial service provider for a period of 3 years.  The settlement agreement was entered into between the Central Bank of Ireland and 1) Smyths Insurance Brokers Limited and 2) Raymond Smyth.  (note: Smyths Insurance Brokers Limited is not a Member Firm.)  The member failed to disclose or notify the Institute of the finding either directly or in subsequent annual returns.

    The Disciplinary matter was concluded in accordance with the settlement provisions set out in Chartered Accountants Ireland's Disciplinary Regulations, the proposed terms of settlement having been approved by the Disciplinary Tribunal on the 5th day of September 2018.

    Indentification of appropriate orders

    Recognising the benefits of resolution through the settlement process, the Disciplinary Tribunal considered the findings and orders made appropriate having regard to the objectives of the Disciplinary Bye-Laws, the applicable guidelines on sanctioning and the particular facts and circumstances of the matter before it.

    Reference: Karen Jones, Gibney Communications
    Ph: 01 6610 402





  • Recent decision of the Disciplinary Tribunal of Francis J Woods & Company Limited, 8 June 2018.

    06/07/2018 10:39:09

    Finding and Order

    It has been found proven that Francis J Woods & Company Limited, a Member Firm of the Institute, with an address at Balbriggan Business Campus, Balbriggan, Co. Dublin did act in breach of:

    1. the Institute's Code of Ethics for Members Fundamental Principle (c): Professional Competence and Due Care by failing to comply with Audit Regulations in carrying out audit work for clients; and
    2. the Institute's Code of Ethics for Members Fundamental Principle (a): Integrity and (c) Professional Competence and Due Care by failing to comply with a restriction imposed on its audit registration;

    and is accordingly liable to disciplinary action in accordance with the applicable Disciplinary Bye-Laws.

    The Disciplinary Tribunal ordered that the Member Firm be severely reprimanded and further ordered that the Member Firm pay a fine in the amount of €2,000 plus a contribution towards the Institute's costs in the matter in the amount of €500.

    This order takes effect from the 8th day of June 2018.

    Background and outline of disciplinary matter

    Arising from a quality review inspection, during which breaches of regulations and areas for improvement were identified, restrictions were placed on the Member Firm's audit registration.  A further inspection was carried out and breaches of the restriction were noted together with some repeat breaches of regulations, some areas where remedial action had not been taken and some deficiencies in audit work.  These matters were referred to the Head of Professional Conduct for consideration in accordance with the disciplinary process.

    This Disciplinary matter was concluded in accordance with the settlement provisions set out in Chartered Accountants Ireland Disciplinary Regulations, the proposed terms of settlement having been approved by the Disciplinary Tribunal on the 8th day of June 2018.

    Identification of appropriate orders

    Recognising the benefits of resolution through the settlement process, the Disciplinary Tribunal considered the findings and orders made appropriate having regard to the objectives of the Disciplinary Bye-Laws, the applicable guidelines on sanctioning and the particular facts and circumstances of the matter before it.

    Reference: Karen Jones, Gibney Communications
    Ph: 01 6610 402


  • Francis J Woods & Company Limited, 8 June 2018 Disciplinary Tribunal Decision

    06/07/2018 11:05:48

    Finding and Order

    It has been found proven that Francis J Woods & Company Limited, a member firm of the Institute, with an address at Balbriggan Business Campus, Balbriggan, Co. Dublin did act in breach of:
    1. the Institute's Code of Ethics for Members (2014): Fundamental Principles: (a) Integrity, (c) Professional Competence and Due Care and (e) Professional Behaviour in failing to comply with a hot file review restriction imposed on the suspension of its audit registration; and
    2. the Institute's Disciplinary Bye-Law 7 by failing to respond to correspondence from Professional Standards;

    and is accordingly liable to disciplinary action under the Institute's Disciplinary Bye-Laws.

    The Disciplinary Tribunal ordered that the Member Firm be severely reprimanded and further ordered that the Member Firm pay a fine in the amount of €2,000 plus a contribution towards the Institute's costs in the matter in the amount of €500.

    This order takes effect from the 8th day of June 2018.

    Background and outline of disciplinary matter

    During a time when audit registration was suspended, the Quality Assurance Committee (QAC) identified a number of audit reports which had been signed by the Member Firm in breach of the terms of a hot file review restriction.  The matter was referred to the Head of Professional Conduct for consideration in accordance with the disciplinary process.  The Member Firm did not respond to correspondence in the course of the investigation.

    This Disciplinary matter was concluded in accordance with the settlement provisions set out in Chartered Accountants Ireland's Disciplinary Regulations, the proposed terms of settlement having been approved by the Disciplinary Tribunal on the 8th day of June 2018.

    Identification of appropriate orders

    Recognising the benefits of resolution through the settlement process, the Disciplinary Tribunal considered the findings and orders made appropriate having regard to the objectives of the Disciplinary Bye-Laws, the applicable guidelines on sanctioning and the particular facts and circumstances of the matter before it.

    Reference: Karen Jones, Gibney Communications
    Ph: 01 6610 402


  • Recent decision of the Disciplinary Tribunal of Mr Kieran Costelloe, 8 June 2018

    06/07/2018 10:19:29

    Finding and Order

    It has been found proven that Mr Kieran Costelloe, a member of the Institute, with an address in Co. Westmeath did:

    1. act in breach of the Institute's Continuing Professional Development Regulation 5.3 by failing to provide CPD records for 2014 when requested to do so;
    2. act in breach of the Institute's Code of Ethics for Members: Fundamental Principle (a) Integrity in that he submitted a CPD declaration to the Institute when he knew or ought to have known that the declaration was incorrect; and
    3. the Institute's Disciplinary Bye-Laws by failing to co-operate with the Institute in the course of the handling of the disciplinary matter:

    and the member is accordingly liable to disciplinary action under the Institute's Disciplinary Bye-Laws.

    The Disciplinary Tribunal ordered that the Member be severely reprimanded and further ordered that the Member pay a fine in the amount of €1,500 plus a contribution towards the Institute's costs in the matter in the amount of €250.

    This order takes effect from the 8th day of June 2018.

    Background and outline of disciplinary matter

    The member failed to provide his CPD records for 2014 when requested to do so.  The member also completed a CPD declaration for 2014 confirming that he had complied with CPD requirements when he knew or ought to have known that he had not met the requirements.  The member also failed to respond to correspondence from the Institute in a timely manner.

    This disciplinary matter was concluded in accordance with the settlement provisions set out in Chartered Accountants Ireland's Disciplinary Regulations, the proposed terms of settlement having been approved by the Disciplinary Tribunal on the 8th day of June 2018.

    Identification of appropriate orders

    Recognising the benefits of resolution through the settlement process, the Disciplinary Tribunal considered the findings and orders made appropriate having regard to the objectives of the Disciplinary Bye-Laws, the applicable guidelines on sanctioning and the particular facts and circumstances of the matter before it.

    Reference: Karen Jones, Gibney Communications
    Ph: 01 6610 402




  • Recent decision of the disciplinary tribunal of Mr Niall O'Kelly

    04/05/2018 09:56:50

    Finding and Order

    That Mr Niall O'Kelly, a member of the Institute, with an address in Dublin acted in breach of the Institute's Code of Ethics for Members (2006 and 2011): Fundamental Principles: (a) Integrity, (b) Objectivity, (c) Professional Competence and Due Care and (e) Professional Behaviour in that;
    Following an investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority he was found to have engaged in market abuse (dissemination) whilst acting as a Chief Financial Officer of a company with a listing on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange in that he:  

    • Was involved in drafting and approving the admission documentation for flotation which contained materially misleading information and omitted key information for investors;
    • Helped manage an undisclosed 'internal hedging' strategy using fake client trading accounts and the unauthorised use of actual client trading accounts which artificially inflated the company's assets on its balance sheet; and
    • knowingly falsified critical financial information concerning client liabilities and the cash position in the Annual Accounts for 2010 and 2011;

    Such findings have been published by the Financial Conduct Authority on 7 April 2017 and in respect of findings the Financial Conduct Authority imposed a financial penalty on the member and prohibited him from performing any function in relation to any regulated activities;
    and is accordingly, by virtue of such findings, penalty and prohibition, liable to disciplinary action under the Institute's Disciplinary Bye-Laws.
    The Tribunal noted Mr O'Kelly's acceptance of both (1) the terms of the Formal Allegation and (2) and appropriate sanction of a Severe Reprimand and Suspension for one year plus 2000 EUROS as a contribution towards costs.  Based on the papers before it and Mr O'Kelly's concessions, the Tribunal having found that Mr O'Kelly's actions amounted to misconduct found the Formal Allegation proven against him.
    Recognising the benefits of resolution through the settlement process as rehearsed in the Settlement Guidelines* and content to adopt the sanction agreed by the parties, the Tribunal orders that Mr Niall O'Kelly be Severely Reprimanded and Suspended for a period of one year and that he pay 2000 EUROS as a contribution to the costs of Chartered Accountants Ireland.
    * See 1.1 of the Settlement Guidelines issued December 2015 as updated at October 2017.
    This order takes effect from the 25th day of April 2018

    Background and Outline of Disciplinary Matter

    Disciplinary matter was concluded in accordance with the settlement provisions set out in Chartered Accountants Ireland's Disciplinary Regulations.
    The member was formerly Chief Financial Officer of Worldspreads Limited (WSL), a financial spread-betting company, and Worldspreads Group pie (WSG), its holding company.
    On 16 March 2012 the Financial Conduct Authority was informed by the company of financial irregularities in WSL's accounts and WSG's shares were suspended.  On 18 March 2012 WSL entered in Special Administration as the discovery of the financial irregularities made it apparent that the company was unable to continue in business.  A liquidator was appointed to WSG on 8 May 2012.
    On 7 April 2017 the Financial Conduct Authority completed an investigation in relation to the collapse of WSL and found that the member was involved in the preparation of misleading information and that the knowingly falsified financial information, and issued financial penalties and bans from performing any functions related to regulatory activity against the member.

    Identification of appropriate orders

    The Disciplinary Tribunal considers the findings and orders made to be appropriate having regard to Chartered Accountants Ireland's Guidance in relation to Sanctions and Orders.

    Reference: Karen Jones, Gibney Communications
    Ph: 01 6610 402


  • Recent decision of a disciplinary tribunal regarding an allegation against Mr Nicholas O'Connor

    28/03/2018 09:26:57

    A Formal allegation against Mr. Nicholas O’Connor, a former member of the Institute formerly in practice as Reddy O’Connor & Company with an address at Troon Lodge, Ballycrane, Wexford, Co. Wexford was heard at a hearing before a Disciplinary Tribunal on 5 February 2018. The following findings and order were made by the Disciplinary Tribunal;

    That Mr Nicholas O’Connor did act in breach of the Institute’s Code of Ethics for Members (2014): Fundamental Principles: (a) Integrity (c) Professional Competence and Due Care and (e) Professional Behaviour by:

    1. Issuing 34 audit opinions in breach of a hot file review restriction imposed on his firm’s audit registration; and
    2. Issuing an audit opinion when he no longer held a practicing certificate and his firm no longer held audit registration;

    In respect of such findings the Disciplinary Tribunal made an Order that Mr Nicholas O’Connor be excluded from membership of Chartered Accountants Ireland. In addition the Tribunal ordered that Mr O’Connor make a contribution of €7,572 towards the costs of Chartered Accountants Ireland.

    Reference: Karen Jones, Gibney Communications

    Ph: 01 6610 402


  • Decision of a Disciplinary Tribunal held on 2 March 2018 regarding a formal allegation against Mr Frank Kelly

    23/03/2018 13:24:46

    Finding and Order

    On the 2nd day of March 2018 a Formal Allegation of misconduct was found proven in relation to Mr Frank Kelly, a former member of the Institute, with an address in Donegal, on the basis that he acted in breach of:

    1. the Institute’s Continuing Professional Development Regulations by failing to provide CPD records for 2014 when requested to do so;
    2. the Institute’s Public Practice Regulations by failing to pay costs imposed by the Quality Assurance Review Committee;
    3. the Institute’s Audit Regulations by failing to co-operate with the Institute during the practice monitoring process; and
    4. the Institute’s Disciplinary Bye-Laws by failing to co-operate with the Institute in the course of the investigation of a Disciplinary Matter.

    The Tribunal noted Mr Kelly’s acceptance of the terms of the Formal Allegation and accordingly found the formal Allegation proven against Mr Kelly.

    The Disciplinary Tribunal orders that Mr Kelly be severely reprimanded. It is further ordered that Mr Kelly pay a sum of €2,000 as a contribution towards the costs of Chartered Accountants Ireland.

    This order takes effect from the 2nd day of March 2018.

    Background and outline of disciplinary matter

    This Disciplinary matter was concluded in accordance with the settlement provisions set out in Chartered Accountants Ireland’s Disciplinary Regulations.

    The matter was referred from the Quality Assurance Committee (QAC) and the Quality Assurance Review Committee (QARC) of the Regulation function within Professional Standards of the Institute of Charted Accountants Ireland.

    Disciplinary Matter 1

    The member failed to provide his CPD records for 2014 when requested to do so and thereby acted in beach of CPD Regulation 5.3.

    Disciplinary Matter 2

    That the member failed to pay costs imposed by the Quality Assurance Review Committee, which is a breach of the member’s responsibilities under Public Practice Regulations.

    Disciplinary Matter 3

    The member’s failure to respond to correspondence from CARB (Now Professional Standards) represents a breach of the Institute’s Audit Regulation 2.08. Thereby the member is liable to disciplinary action in accordance with Disciplinary Bye-Law 8.1.3 of the Institute’s Disciplinary Bye-Laws first effective 5 October 2015.

    Investigation of the Additional Matter

    The member was written to on 21 April 2017 and asked to respond to all of the above disciplinary matters. Despite reminders being sent by letter and email on 15 and 29 May 2017 no response was received from the member. The failure to reply to correspondence from the Investigator represents a breach of Disciplinary Bye-Law 7 of the Disciplinary Bye-Law first effective 5 October 2015. Thereby the member is liable to disciplinary action in accordance with Disciplinary Bye-Law 8.1.3 of the Institute’s Disciplinary Bye-Laws first effective 5 October 2015.

    Identification of appropriate orders

    The Disciplinary Tribunal considers the findings and orders made as appropriate having regard to Chartered Accountants Ireland’s Guidance in relation to Sanctions and Orders.

    Reference: Karen Jones, Gibney Communications

    Ph: 01 6610 402

     


  • Disciplinary Tribunal regarding allegations against Michael Smith

    18/01/2018 14:51:54

    A Formal Allegation against Mr. Michael Smith, a member of the Institute, with an address in North Dublin was heard at a hearing before a Disciplinary Tribunal on 5 December 2017.  The following findings and Orders were made by the Disciplinary Tribunal;

     

    The Disciplinary Tribunal found that Mr. Michael Smith did act in breach in breach of the Code of Ethics for Members: Fundamental Principles: (a) Integrity; (b) Objectivity; (c) Professional Competence and Due Care; and (e) Professional Behaviour in that he:

     

    1. carried out professional work with insufficient due care and attention;
    2. engaged in public practise without a practising certificate and acted contrary to Public Practice Regulations 5.2 and 5.3;
    3. inappropriately and without authority used a member firm’s headed note paper and email address; and
    4. failed or neglected to adequately respond or co-operate with the disciplinary process contrary to Disciplinary Bye-Law 7;

    In respect of such findings the Disciplinary Tribunal made an Order that Mr. Smith be severely reprimanded.  In addition the Tribunal ordered that Mr. Smith refund the fees amounting to €1,840 incurred by the complainant by 31 May 2018.  The Tribunal also directed that Mr. Smith make a contribution of €7,000 towards the costs of Chartered Accountants Ireland.


    Reference: Karen Jones, Gibney Communications
    Ph: 01 6610 402


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