Court Linked to Unauthorized US$108K Audit Payment

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Lawyers representing, Amos Brosius, the man at the center of a US$1.7 million case involving Ducor Petroleum Incorporated have accused the Commercial Court of singlehandedly authorizing the payment of US$108,000 to PKF-Liberia, an auditing firm commissioned by the court to audit the account of Ducor Petroleum.

The Commercial Court is at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia and managed by a three panel judge.

PKF-Liberia was hired based on a “Petition for Accounting” that was filed by the management of Monrovia Oil Trading Company (MOTC), a foreign owned petroleum entity that is claiming ownership of Ducor against Mr. Brosius’ handling of funds while serving as its general manger.

In a 4-page letter dated November 4, and addressed to the Court, a copy of which is with the Daily Observer, the lawyers allege that PKF-Liberia was pre-paid US$108,000 without their knowledge of the nature of the audit work.

“We hold the view that pre-payment of the money to the auditor gives the wrong impression that the parties have signed an engagement letter with the auditor, when the record shows that our client has, in fact and indeed not signed such a letter with the auditor,” they said.

The letter noted that “It is usual for an auditor or auditee to participate in discussions regarding the scope of the audit as well as the estimated period of time required for the audit to be completed.”

The lawyers said they were unaware of any compelling reason why a different method for proceeding with an audit was adopted neither were they aware of the reason that necessitated payment by the court to the auditor without an engagement letter signed by PKF.

They contend further that under the GAAP, an engagement letter is a precondition to the commencement of any audit, stressing that “An engagement letter is in the nature of a contract between an auditor and an auditee, as it defines the scope of an audit and the terms and conditions under which it is to be undertaken.”

The lawyers said, “there appears to be an attempt by Your Honor to sideline our client in person of Mr. Brosius, the respondent in the petition for accounting, from participating in decisions regarding the course of the audit, when in fact the object of the audit is to settle a dispute between the parties.”

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