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Ex-Deloitte Risk Chief Settles Claim He Took Casino Markers

A former Deloitte LLP executive will be suspended from practicing as an accountant for two years after settling U.S. regulatory claims that he took thousands of dollars in markers while serving as an adviser on the firm’s audit of a casino gaming corporation.

The Securities and Exchange Commission action against James T. Adams, 62, was announced by the agency in a statement today outlining settlement of its administrative case. Adams, who was Deloitte’s chief risk officer, was accused of drawing markers -- which are used by a casino customer to receive gaming chips drawn against a line of credit -- from July 2009 until he retired from the firm in May 2010, the SEC said.

“The transactions by which Adams accepted the casino markers were loans from an audit client that are prohibited by the auditor independence rules,” Scott W. Friestad, associate director in the SEC’s enforcement unit, said in the statement. “Through his extensive use of casino markers, Adams clearly violated the rules and put his own desires ahead of his client’s interests.”

Adams, a California resident who had worked at Deloitte and predecessor firms since 1974, concealed his casino markers and lied to another partner when asked if he had markers from audit clients, the SEC said.

“Deloitte fully cooperated with the SEC in its investigation,” Jonathan Gandal, a spokesman for the firm, said in an e-mail statement. “This former partner’s conduct plainly violated Deloitte’s policies, and he lied to Deloitte to conceal his actions. Mr. Adams is no longer part of our organization, and we strongly condemn his conduct.”

Scott Schreiber, an attorney for Adams at Arnold & Porter LLP in Washington, declined to comment on the settlement.

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