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By | John Oates 30th January 2009 10:09

PwC auditors fingered for Satyam fraud

Beancounters been fiddling

Indian police have accused two PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants of colluding and conspiring with company founder Ramalinga Raju to create false accounts for Satyam.

The two auditors are in police custody but have not yet been charged.

"During interrogation [the auditors, Subramani Gopala Krishnan and Talluri Srinivas] confessed their involvement in the crime. They also colluded... in window dressing of the company's accounts and lured the investors to invest the money", according to court documents seen by the FT.

There has been confusion as to how Raju managed to create an additional, and imaginary, $1bn in assets without the assistance of, or wilful ignorance by, the accountants.

PwC has mostly stayed silent on the scandal apart from promising to co-operate fully with the investigation and admitting accounts it prepared were probably wrong.

PwC's global boss Samuel DiPiazza was in India this week to meet India's minister for corporate affairs.

Satyam has hired Goldman Sachs to look for possible buyers for the firm. Larsen and Toubro Ltd which raised its stake in the firm this week from 4 per cent to 12 per cent has kept quiet on whether it intends to take control of the firm.

Satyam board director Tarun Das told AFP there were at least seven possible bidders for the firm - four have approached them directly with another two or three considering bids. He said bankers were talking to all interested parties and would report back to the board in six weeks. ®

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