The more successful a fraud case is against Lehman’s executives, the less likely EY or any of its partners will suffer any consequences for their acquiescence to or complicity in the fraud. That’s not to say the firm won’t suffer slowly and painfully from the enormous amount of time and money devoted to defending themselves in Lehman litigation and the rest of the suits they face. And, of course, there is reputational damage with some clients. That’s why their Chairman has gone on the PR defensive. But with regard to Lehman cases, EY can now take a breath. When executives commit fraud and are held liable, and especially when there’s a bankruptcy involved, auditors are rarely held responsible.

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