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News December 2017 Tribunal hearing regarding John Shannon, Raymond Flynn and Matthew Boyle, relating to AssetCo plc

Tribunal hearing regarding John Shannon, Raymond Flynn and Matthew Boyle, relating to AssetCo plc

14 December 2017
A hearing of the Disciplinary Tribunal of the Financial Reporting Council ("FRC") will commence on Monday 15 January 2018 at 10.00am to consider a Formal Complaint against (1) John Shannon, former Chief Executive Officer of AssetCo plc, and a member of Chartered Accountants Ireland (“CAI”); (2) Raymond Flynn, former Chief Financial Officer of AssetCo plc and a member of CAI and (3) Matthew Boyle, former Financial Controller of AssetCo plc and a member of CAI.
 
The hearing venue is The International Dispute Resolution Centre Limited, 70 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1EU.
 
The Formal Complaint concerns the Conduct of Mr Shannon, Mr Flynn and Mr Boyle in relation to the preparation and approval of AssetCo plc’s financial statements for the financial years ended 31 March 2009 and 31 March 2010.

The Formal Complaint contains multiple allegations against each of Mr Shannon, Mr Flynn and Mr Boyle. The Formal Complaint includes allegations they acted dishonestly or recklessly; that they breached the fundamental principles of integrity and objectivity in the manner in which they prepared the financial statements; and that their conduct fell significantly short of the standards reasonably to be expected of members of Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI). The complaint covers a wide range of issues which pervaded AssetCo plc’s financial statements.

The hearing relates to the investigation notified in FRC Notice PN 50 of 2014 and the delivery of a Formal Complaint in relation to Mr Shannon, Mr Flynn and Mr Boyle.

Notes to editors
  1. The Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) mission is to promote transparency and integrity in business.  The FRC sets the UK Corporate Governance and Stewardship Codes and UK standards for accounting and actuarial work; monitors and takes action to promote the quality of corporate reporting; and operates independent enforcement arrangements for accountants and actuaries. As the competent authority for audit in the UK the FRC sets auditing and ethical standards and monitors and enforces audit quality.
  2. In relation to enforcement matters, the FRC is the independent, investigative and disciplinary body for accountants and actuaries in the UK dealing with cases which raise important issues affecting the public interest. In brief, the stages of the disciplinary process under the Accountancy Scheme are:
  • Decision to investigate
  • Investigation
  • Decision whether to bring enforcement proceedings against Member Firm or Member and, if so decided, referral to Disciplinary Tribunal
  • Tribunal hearing
  • Determination and imposition of sanction and/or costs orders
Under the Accountancy Scheme the FRC can start a disciplinary investigation in one of two ways: (i) the professional bodies can refer cases to the FRC; and (ii) the FRC may decide of its own accord to investigate a matter. The Conduct Committee will consider each case identified or referred to it and decide whether or not the criteria for an investigation are met.

The criteria are specified in paragraph 5(1) of the Accountancy Scheme. A Member or Member Firm shall be liable to investigation under this Scheme only where, in the opinion of the Conduct Committee the matter raises or appears to raise important issues affecting the public interest in the United Kingdom and there are reasonable grounds to suspect that there may have been Misconduct or it appears that the Member or Member Firm has failed to comply with any of his or its obligations under paragraphs 14(1) or 14(2) of the Scheme.
Investigations are conducted by Executive Counsel and the Enforcement division.
  1. The FRC can start a disciplinary investigation in one of two ways: (i) the professional bodies can refer cases to the FRC; and (ii) the FRC may decide of its own accord to investigate a matter. The Conduct Committee will consider each case identified or referred to it and decide whether or not the criteria for an investigation are met.  Investigations are conducted by Executive Counsel and the Enforcement Division. If disciplinary proceedings are commenced, Executive Counsel delivers a Formal Complaint to the Conduct Committee. The Conduct Committee then instructs the Convener to appoint a Disciplinary Tribunal.
  2. Formal Complaints filed following an investigation are heard by an independent Tribunal which will normally sit in public. If the Tribunal upholds a Formal Complaint, there is a wide range of sanctions which it can impose including an unlimited fine, exclusion from membership of a professional body covered by one of the Schemes and withdrawal of practising certificates or licences.

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Alana SinnenCommunications Manager