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Northern Irish scandal

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Scandals, scandals: the accounting irregularities that have rocked the U.S. have been mirrored by similar affairs in Northern Ireland.

Accounting giant KPMG was fined last week for failing to spot a hole in the accounts of a subsidiary of the Northern Irish engineering firm Powerscreen, based in Dungannon.

The case dates to 1997, when Powerscreen reported half-year pre-tax profits of _23.6 million and went on to raise _18 million through a share placing on the stock market.

A month later, Powerscreen was forced to reveal accounting irregularities in its subsidiary Matbro.

KPMG was ordered Monday to pay $430,000 to the Irish Institute of Chartered Accountants.

“The partnership accepts that the work in this particular case fell below its own rigorous standards,” KPMG said.

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Matbro was sold to U.S. tractor giant John Deere for _7 million in 1998 while Powerscreen was itself bought the following year by U.S. construction and mining equipment maker Terex Corp.

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