Faced with a criminal investigation of auditors on the Tyco International Ltd. account, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP has supplemented its Tyco auditing staff with partners who haven’t worked previously on the account, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
Pricewaterhouse is conducting its annual Tyco audit under a cloud. The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has already charged Tyco’s former chief executive and chief financial officers with taking $170 million in unauthorized compensation from the company. Prosecutors also are probing whether individual Pricewaterhouse auditors knew about secret bonuses paid to former Tyco executives, as well as accounting practices that regulators have charged were used to hide the payments, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
A Tyco spokesman confirmed that the company asked for and got new people on its account. David Nestor, a Pricewaterhouse spokesman, said, “At the request of new management, we’ve committed additional resources to Tyco.”
People with knowledge of the matter said although new accountants have been brought in to work on Tyco, the old Pricewaterhouse team remains on the account, because it is needed to help forensic auditors and lawyers with the company’s internal investigation. The old team includes Rick Scalzo and John O’Connor, both partners in the Boston office of Pricewaterhouse. Tyco has hired a separate forensic-accounting firm to review its accounting practices since 1999. These practices are also being looked at by both the Securities and Exchange Commission and Manhattan prosecutors.