Association requests blocking of PwC assets and accuses CVM of negligence in the Americanas case


Abradecont (Brazilian Association for the Defense of Consumers and Workers) filed a public civil action claiming responsibility for the PwC audit and the CVM (Securities and Exchange Commission) for omission and negligence in relation to Americanas.

The association requests blocking of the assets of the auditor responsible for the retailer’s balance sheets and access to CVM investigations on the case. It also asks that the autarchy be prohibited from approving reports produced by PwC until the situation of Americanas is investigated.

Sought after, PwC and CVM have not yet commented on the matter.

“What leads an investor, shareholder, or even buyers and suppliers to acquire some merchandise, action, make an investment or commercial relationship with a certain company is precisely trust”, says the lawsuit, filed by the Antunes Sociedade Individual de Advocacia office.

“Trust is the term used by PwC Brasil on its main page. Precisely what it later came to abuse in an undignified and cruel manner with Brazilians”, continues the text.

In the action, the lawyers cite as an example the Enron scandal, a company that went bankrupt after the discovery of accounting fraud in 2001, which also ended with the condemnation of the audit firm Arthur Andersen.

“It is a great example of the capacity of an auditing firm to cause damage”, they state. “It is not by chance that the famous company Arthur Andersen was condemned for, supposedly, camouflaging real data from the North American energy company.”

Regarding the CVM, the action questions the approval of the retailer’s audit reports. “Despite the opening of procedures arising from its supervisory and police power, the fact is that CVM’s negligence must be duly investigated by this Court”, he says.

The association requests an injunction for the immediate blocking of PwC’s assets, without prejudice to the payment of wages and suppliers. It also requests that the company be temporarily suspended from participating and issuing reports related to the capital market.

With regard to the CVM, it requests the presentation of all investigations into the case, with updates every 15 days, and a detailed report on all audits of companies carried out by PwC.

So far, the CVM has six administrative processes and two investigations to investigate the case. In one of them, he includes among those investigated the company’s reference shareholders, the trio of billionaires Jorge Paulo Lemann, Beto Sicupira and Marcel Telles, who deny prior knowledge of the crisis.

The Americanas crisis has already generated a series of actions involving consumer and investor protection associations. Some of them are looking for shareholders to join collective processes, both in Brazil and in the United States.

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