As the FT reports this morning:
Rio Tinto and two former senior executives were hit with US fraud charges, and the miner with a UK penalty, on Tuesday for allegedly trying to hide a multibillion-dollar business failure by inflating the value of coal assets in Mozambique.
In a civil complaint filed in federal court in New York, the Securities and Exchange Commission said that Rio, Tom Albanese, its former chief executive, and Guy Elliott, a former chief financial officer, had ignored proper accounting standards and misled investors in their valuation of coal deposits that the company had purchased for $3.7bn and later sold for just $50m.
As they also note:
In the UK, the company was fined £27.4m over the affair, the largest fine the Financial Conduct Authority has levied on a company for a listing-rules breach.
So, let' ask the obvious question: where were the auditors?
The sums now subject to investigation must be material. So where is the investigation into the audit? I can find no evidence that there is one.