The United States Securities and Exchange Commission imposed a fine Attachedthe former audit firm of Friedman LLP, to the tune of $1.5 million, according to a order released on Friday.

The regulator found the accountancy firm engaged in several instances of “inappropriate professional conduct” in its audits of two companies from 2017 to 2020.

According to the SEC, Friedman LLP “failed to design and perform” proper audit procedures in its work with grocery chain iFresh, nor “did it exercise professional skepticism and professional care” in its management of the audit of another public limited company.

Although the command does not directly mention Tether, the stablecoin the issuer retained Friedman LLP as auditor from May 2017 to January 2018 before terminating the relationship.

The SEC order says Friedman LLP, which has neither admitted nor denied the SEC’s findings, has agreed to settle the charges and will pay approximately $1.5 million in fines, plus staff training .

Tether’s dollar backing

Tether’s financial activities have been under investigation for some time, in part due to the insistence that the composition of its reserves is commercially sensitive in such a competitive market. The broader crypto industry has come under intense scrutiny from regulators

Last week, an American judge order Tether to produce documents showing dollar backing for its stablecoin, the latest development in a court case launched by crypto traders last year claiming that the stablecoin issuer attempted to support the price of Bitcoin with unbacked tokens.

Further investigation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission found that Tether only held sufficient dollar reserves for a quarter of the time between 2016 and 2018.

Tether and Friedman LLP did not respond to requests for comment at the time of publication.

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