Prior blogs on this topic:
The city of Dixon, Illinois announced on September 25, 2013 it would receive a $40 million settlement from CliftonLarsonAllen, Fifth Third Bank, and Janis Card and Associates for the fraud Rita Crundwell committed and was not detected by the CPA firms or the bank.
I followed up with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to determine if the Department had considered investigating or had taken disciplinary action against the Certified Public Accountants involved in the audits of Dixon, Illinois.
According to the Department’s web page:
“The Department’s mission is to protect and promote the lives of Illinois consumers.
We regulate most of the professionals and financial institutions that Illinois families depend on everyday – from banks to veterinarians and almost everything in between. We also work with the licensed professionals, members of the General Assembly, law enforcement officers, consumer groups and concerned public citizens to make sure that unscrupulous businesses and incompetent professionals can’t take advantage of their customers and clients.”
According to the Department’s web site, no disciplinary action has been taken against any of the major participants in the Dixon, Illinois audits.
In responding to my Freedom of Information Request, they simply said, “Pursuant to the Act [Illinois Freedom of Information Act], your request does not seek to produce a particular public record.”
Two of the people I inquired about have active licenses, one has an inactive license and one has not renewed his license.
Interestingly, Ronald J. Blaine, one of the partners doing the audits was previously disciplined on February 28, 2000. The reason for the disciplinary action: “[Mr. Blaine] [a]llegedly authorized the issuance of an unqualified opinion on financial statements that may have failed to fully disclose the financial conditions of one company.”
That sounds very similar to what occurred in Dixon, Illinois. The Department though would not tell me the name of the company the partner was auditing for which he was reprimanded.
Another partner, while not disciplined, has allowed his CPA license to become “inactive.” A search on the Internet though shows he continues to use the CPA designation. Here’s one of his web sites:
“For tax preparation in Sterling, Illinois, you can count on Samuel S. Card, CPA at Samuel S. Card, CPA P.C. Samuel S. Card, CPA assists taxpayers and small businesses with taxes in Sterling, Illinois and the surrounding communities. Whether you are an individual or a local business in or around Sterling, Illinois, Samuel S. Card, CPA has years of valuable experience as an IRS registered tax preparer.
Contact Samuel S. Card, CPA, tax filing specialist in Sterling, Illinois, for help with your taxes.”
I called Mr. Card’s office to see if he was still working. A woman answered the phone. When I questioned her if Mr. Card was practicing as a CPA, she indicated he was not. She said he was working as an accountant.
I’m not sure how the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation can, “make sure that unscrupulous businesses and incompetent professionals can’t take advantage of their customers and clients” if there is no “particular public record” available about an investigation into this incredible failure to find a $53 million fraud that occurred over a 22-year period.