April 20, 2010 / 12:27 PM / 10 years ago

Lehman unsecured creditors seek probe Ernst & Young

(Reuters) - Unsecured creditors of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc are looking to probe Ernst & Young LLC to assess if the estate may have causes of action against the auditor arising out of Lehman’s use of a the controversial accounting technique, Repo 105.

In court papers filed on Monday, a group of unsecured creditors asked the bankruptcy court to order that Ernst & Young produce certain documents and its employees and partners submit to an oral examination.

“It is unlikely that Ernst & Young will voluntarily provide this information to the committee,” the unsecured creditors said.

When contacted, Ernst & Young declined to comment on the filing.

Lehman’s court-appointed examiner, Anton Valukas, has said that the use of Repo 105, which dated back to 2001 and was used without telling investors or regulators, gave the appearance that Lehman was reducing its overall leverage levels in 2008 when it was not.

Lehman used Repo 105 to temporarily remove $50 billion of assets from its balance sheet in 2008, according to his report released in March.

On Monday, one of Lehman’s directors said that Ernst & Young never raised questions about Repo 105 to the Lehman board’s audit committee.

The bankruptcy case is In re: Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 08-13555.

Reporting by Santosh Nadgir in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier

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