Rice loses misconduct appeal

AN ACCOUNTANT has lost his appeal against being found guilty of professional misconduct and has been ordered to pay £5,000 in costs.

Eamonn Rice was head of financial services in Scotland for “big four” accountancy firm Ernst & Young, but left in 2005 to set up Mform, an online mortgage information business.

Mform fell into administration in February 2009 after the collapse of the housing market.

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The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland (Icas) received a complaint against Rice in September 2009, which resulted in a disciplinary tribunal in May last year.

Icas said: “The tribunal found Mr Rice guilty of professional misconduct in that he had fraudulently prepared a letter that was purported to be signed by the joint administrator of Mform Holdings Limited. The letter misrepresented the likelihood of a dividend being paid to Mr Rice as an unsecured creditor. Thereafter, Mr Rice provided a copy of the fraudulent letter to solicitors acting for his bank in an attempt to have the bank stay court proceedings against him.”

Rice sought to overturn the decision, but an appeals tribunal upheld it and ordered him to pay £5,000 in costs.

Rice told The Scotsman that the bank had not relied on the information in the letter and that he hadn’t practised as a chartered accountant since 2000.