US SEC charges Marcum employee over audit quality control issues

By Chris Prentice

NEW YORK (Reuters) -The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday said it has charged a former national office leader at audit firm Marcum LLP over quality control failures, the regulator said in a statement.

The SEC said Alfonse Gregory Giugliano, a certified public accountant, failed to sufficiently address and remediate deficiencies in the firm’s quality control system. In his role as a National Assurance Services Leader, he was aware of numerous deficiencies in Marcum’s quality control system, the SEC said.

Giugliano, who did not admit or deny the SEC’s findings, and his lawyer did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

The SEC in June charged marcum with a $10 million penalty for standards violations related to its audit work for hundreds of special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs.

The SPAC boom of 2020 and 2021 brought the likes of DraftKings Inc and electric truck maker Nikola public, and drew scrutiny from watchdogs and the SEC over what they saw as less stringent due diligence practices.

As part of the resolution, Giugliano agreed to having no leadership or supervisory role at any registered public accounting firm for a period of three years and a civil penalty of $75,000, among other things, the SEC said.

(Reporting by Chris Prentice, Editing by Nick Zieminski)