VEB Sues Deloitte Over Ahold Fraud
Deloitte - and 178 of its current and former partners – is being sued by Dutch shareholders' association VEB, over its involvement in Dutch retailer Ahold's multi-billion-euro accounting scandal.
Ahold, owner of Albert Heijn - Holland’s biggest supermarket chain - revealed in 2003 that’s its profits had been inflated by over £800m following an aggressive acquisition spree, Reuters report.
Dutch prosecutors went after former CEO Cees van der Hoeven, who was convicted of fraud and given a suspended jail sentence.
VEB is seeking a court ruling on whether Deloitte, one of Ahold's auditors during the period when it inflated profits, was responsible for issuing misleading opinions on Ahold's financial statements.
‘The VEB will press for compensation for affected investors. The exact damage still needs to be established. The total damage in the Ahold case amounted to many billions,’ VEB said in a statement.
But Deloitte said it too had been deceived by Ahold in the fraud and would defend itself against VEB's legal action.
‘The fraud was partly intended to deceive Deloitte as auditor. Several courts - including the Dutch criminal court, confirmed that over the years. Deloitte itself denounced the fraud,’ it said in a statement.