The trial, which began yesterday in New York, will investigate any involvement Middendorf may have had in a scheme to improve KPMG’s performance in Public Company Accounting Oversights Board (PCAOB) inspections by stealing confidential information.
The trial, which is expected to last four weeks, will include testimony from former and current PCAOB and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) officials.
In October last year, co-defendant Cynthia Holder, former KPMG partner and PCAOB inspector, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, along with two counts of wire fraud.
Two weeks later, Thomas Whittle, KPMG US’s former national partner in charge of inspections, pleaded guilty to five conspiracy and wire fraud charges relating to the use of leaked regulatory information.
A third ex-KPMG partner, Brian Sweet, who had also moved from the PCAOB to KMPG, had previously settled with the SEC and cooperated with the watchdog and the US Department of Justice on the investigation.
Meanwhile, the final co-defendant, David Britt, will reportedly go on trial separately in October.
KPMG US declined to comment.