EY must pay US$11 million in damages for suppressing gold trade-based financial crime

In a landmark judgment one of the world’s ‘Big 4’ accounting firms, EY, has been ordered to pay approximately US$11 million in damages for deliberately turning a blind eye to trade-based financial criminality that some staff repeatedly raised concerns about according to a whistleblower.

The whistleblower, former EY Dubai partner Amjad Rihan has said for many years that the firm suppressed his concerns about large sums of cash being paid out by businesses associated with the Kaloti gold refinery in Dubai and about gold bars that had been disguised as silver to avoid trade restrictions.

EY cover up

A British High Court found that EY was liable for covering up evidence of money laundering and forcing Rihan out of the firm.

High Court judge Timothy Kerr ruled that EY helped cover up results of an audit led by Rihan of Kaloti’s business practices that revealed the refiner paid billions of dollars in cash for gold without adequately checking its origin and bought gold bars from Morocco coated in silver to avoid duty payments.

Damning criticism

The judge was damning in his criticism of EY’s senior management, including one of its top in-house lawyers.

He said members of EY’s global leadership had “twisted the truth,” were not “reliable or candid” and were “uninterested in questions of professional ethics.”

Both EY and Kaloti have been denying any wrongdoing since 2013 when Rihan first raised issues at Kaloti.

Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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