Tuesday 22 August 2006 06 – LAWFUEL – Legal News Network – The former Chief Executive Officer of BearingPoint Australia Pty Ltd, Mr Cameron John Morris, was convicted today in the Melbourne Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to two charges following an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). ASIC alleged Mr Morris falsified the financial books and records at BearingPoint Australia between March and December 2004 and provided information to the company auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) that he knew was false or misleading.
The court ordered Mr Morris to pay a fine of $2,500 in respect to each charge. He is also automatically banned from being involved in the management of companies for a period of five years from today’s date. Background Mr Morris, of Southbank, Victoria, is a former director and country leader of BearingPoint Australia, a business consulting and systems integration firm. In February 2005, PwC alerted ASIC to issues within the filed BearingPoint Australia 2004 financial report. A
SIC’s investigation focused on a variation to a fixed contract of work entered into between BearingPoint Australia and Canon Australia. The issues centred on the recoverability work in progress payments against the Canon contract work, which was named Project Apollo. Mr Morris accepted that he had created a payment schedule to the variation contract, as well as a number of other internal documents and represented the falsified value to the internal BearingPoint finance department.
In a meeting with the PwC auditor, Mr John Yeoman, on 8 December 2004, Mr Morris once more represented that the falsified documents accurately set out the recoverability of a work in progress balance in excess of $10.1million.
ASIC’s enquiry established that the variation contract value as held by Canon was $13.2million whilst the copy held by BearingPoint finance officials and the PwC auditor showed the variation contract to be valued at $19.6million. For further information contact: Mark Steward Deputy Executive Director, Enforcement Telephone: 03 9280 3467 Mobile: 0412 860 940 Danielle Huck ASIC Media Unit Telephone: 03 9280 3407 Mobile: 0417 540 769