Top Andersen fraud detective starts at rival Ernst & Young

NEW YORK, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Andersen's top financial fraud detective and a key witness in the disgraced accounting firm's trial for its role in the Enron Corp. debacle is starting afresh in a similar role at rival Ernst & Young.

Ernst & Young is expected to announce later this week that David Stulb, who helped Andersen's forensic investigations unit grow three-fold during his five-year stint there, will oversee a division at Ernst that focuses on probing financial fraud.

The move comes after a tumultuous year for Stulb, who, like other Andersen employees watched in shock as the 89-year old accounting behemoth boasting 85,000 employees and $9.3 billion in annual revenues disintegrated within a matter of months last year.

Found guilty of obstructing justice in the investigation of the Enron scandal last summer, Andersen was forced to shutter its core auditing business. While most Andersen staffers and clients had fled the firm by the end of its high profile trial, Stulb remained at Andersen until mid-December before accepting the offer from Ernst & Young.

Ernst & Young, meanwhile, has been beefing up its practice dedicated to investigations and probing fraud in recent years to capitalize on the booming market for forensic fraud services, where accountants or other specialists trained in detecting fraud are brought in by companies to investigate allegations of accounting shenanigans.

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