Arthur Andersen is seeking a hearing to respond to the Securities and Exchange Commission's allegations that the firm violated state securities law in connection with a 1996 audit of the Baptist Foundation of Arizona.
Andersen is accused of giving the Foundation a clean audit despite warnings that the Foundation may have committed fraud with its investors. After the audit report was issued, $200 million was raised by the Foundation, which eventually filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November 1999.
The SEC would like for investors to receive their money back in some form or fashion. In response to the allegations, David J. Scullin, the firm's Arizona managing partner, says the firm always has upheld objective and professional ethics.
'We intend to respond to the claims at the appropriate time and in the appropriate venue,' he says.