Quid Pro Quo

After agreeing to withdraw support for ten years of Yukos audits, how is PwC rewarded? Moscow Times: Russian court hands victory to PricewaterhouseCoopers in tax evasion case

A Russian appeals court on Tuesday ordered a new round of hearings into charges that PricewaterhouseCoopers’s Russia unit evaded millions of dollars in taxes. The decision was a victory for the international accounting firm, which is struggling to avoid being dragged into the legal onslaught against Yukos. The decision by Moscow’s Higher Arbitration Court came less than two weeks after the PWC withdrew its entire audit series for Yukos, saying a new investigation by the prosecutor general’s office in Moscow showed that Yukos did not properly disclose its relation to certain oil trading firms. … Meanwhile, former Yukos managers have accused the accounting firm of yielding to legal pressure in its controversial decision last month to withdraw a decade’s worth of audits for Yukos. Those audits had provided the foundation for the bankrupt firm’s defense in a series of continuing trials. “They do what they’re told – they’re scared to lose money,” Aleksandr Temerko, a former Yukos vice president said during a telephone interview from London. “It’s a political thing.” Temerko and other Yukos officials said their company, as well as the former chief executive, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and the former majority shareholder, Platon Lebedev, were the real targets of the campaign.