SEC Nails an Old Accountant

PHILADELPHIA (CN) – The SEC says a 73-year-old accountant and his firm raked in more than $5 million “in purported fees and trading profits,” ill-gotten gains from a $75 million Ponzi scheme.

     The SEC sued John N. Irwin, CPA, of Villanova, and the company he founded and ran, Jacklin Associates, of Radnor. In its settled complaint, the SEC claims Irwin helped Joseph S. Forte run a $75 million Ponzi scam; Ponzi pleaded guilty to multiple fraud charges and money laundering and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
     The SEC claims Irwin solicited customers for Forte, and “without performing any due diligence, passed along to investors through Jacklin materially false and misleading information about, among other things, Forte LP’s current value and growth, historical performance, rapid-trading strategy, and retention of an accountant.”
     The SEC said in announcing the filing of its settled complaint that “Irwin, through Jacklin, also performed back office and bookkeeping functions for Forte LP, including creating and issuing to investors false quarterly statements and tax documents prepared based on the false information provided by Forte. In communicating the fraudulent information to investors, Irwin disregarded red flags that should have alerted him that the information that he was passing on was false. Over the course of the fraud, Irwin, through Jacklin, received ill-gotten gains exceeding $5 million in purported fees and trading profits.”
     Irwin and Jacklin, as is customary, settled with the SEC without admitting or denying what they did. The SEC told them to disgorge their ill-gotten gains, and promise not to do it again. And Irwin can’t practice before the SEC as an accountant.

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