Assembly approves corporate fraud revisions

People convicted of corporate crimes in Nevada could face fines of up to $500,000 per violation and up to 20 years in prison, under a bill passed Monday by the Assembly.

AB163, sent to the state Senate on a unanimous vote, makes it illegal to destroy documents or information to hide illegal activities, or to hinder an investigation into such activities.

The bill covers financial institutions and securities traders, and makes it a felony to knowingly file incorrect financial statements.

Assemblyman David Goldwater, the bill's sponsor, said the proposal would help protect individuals and provide stiff penalties for corporate criminals.

"Corrupt CEO's and accountants can do irreparable damage to markets, as well as to retirement and pension funds," Goldwater, D-Las Vegas, said in a written statement.

"AB163 attempts to protect Nevadans by strengthening our securities law and punishing corporate officers and accountants who lie, cheat, or steal."

The bill also bars casinos from using the same accountant to perform internal and external audits.


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