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Skechers shares resume trading amid KPMG insider trading probe

FinanceAccounting and AuditingHerbalife LimitedSkechers USA IncorporatedInsider Trading

Trading in shares of Skechers USA Inc. has resumed after being halted earlier Tuesday morning following KPMG’s resignation as the footwear company’s auditor.

KPMG, which fired a senior partner in its Los Angeles office amid allegations of insider trading, also stepped down as auditor of Herbalife, a Los Angeles nutritional supplement company.

The resignations from Herbalife and Manhattan Beach-based Skechers occurred Monday. Herbalife’s shares were halted at opening. Soon after being reopened to trading, Skechers' stock was up 2%, or 43 cents, to $21.94 a share.

The auditing firm, one of the country’s largest, said in a statement on its website that its “independence has been impacted as a result of this individual’s behavior.”

“KPMG has advised us that they have no reason to believe that there were any misstatements in our financial statements, and we firmly believe that there has been no misstatements of our results or financial condition,” said David Weinberg, Skechers’ chief operating officer and chief financial officer, in a statement.

Still, Weinberg said, the situation “is an unfortunate development,” especially as Skechers prepares to release earnings for its first fiscal quarter for 2013. The company, he said, is “working diligently to replace KPMG as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

KPMG said the fired partner headed up its auditing practice in its Los Angeles office. The so-called Audit Engagement Partner is under federal investigation for allegedly selling nonpublic information about his clients, including Skechers, according to the shoe company.

Skechers said the partner is cooperating with authorities.

KPMG’s resignation as Skechers’ independent accountant is “not for any reason related to Skechers’ financial statements, its accounting practices, the integrity of Skechers’ management or for any other reason,” the footwear firm said.

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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FinanceAccounting and AuditingHerbalife LimitedSkechers USA IncorporatedInsider Trading
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