| WASHINGTON, July 14
WASHINGTON, July 14 Accounting giant Ernst &
Young will pay $4 million to settle civil charges that
it violated auditor independence rules after one of its units
lobbied congressional staffers on behalf of audit clients, U.S.
regulators said Monday.
The Securities and Exchange Commission said the firm is
settling the case without admitting or denying the charges.
SEC rules prohibit auditors from serving as "advocates" for
audit clients because doing so may cloud their independence.
The SEC's case comes after Reuters exclusively reported in
2012 that Ernst & Young's Washington, D.C.-based lobbying arm
had been hired by several audit clients.
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Susan Heavey)