Audits Uncover More Problems for Waste Management

Sources reveal that greater problems were uncovered with Waste Management Inc. when more than 1,100 auditors from Arthur Andersen, LLP and PricewaterhouseCoopers uncovered another batch of accounting problems at about 1,200 offices of the industrial disposal giant.

This may result in a third-quarter charge as high as $1 billion, an adjustment compounding the $3.54 billion hit in pretax charges taken in February 1998 that made up for years of questionable accounting reporting.

What makes the new charges even greater is the fact that due diligence had occurred prior to the $19 billion merger between Waste Management and USA Waste Services, Inc.

Andersen serves as the company's external auditor, while PWC is the auditor through which Waste Management contracts its internal operations.

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