Isla Lipana vows to cooperate with gov’t on MFT probe

Isla Lipana vows to cooperate with gov’t on MFT probe

/ 02:11 AM April 23, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — The independent auditor implicated in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) criminal complaint against Maria Francesca Tan has vowed to cooperate in the ongoing investigation after the corporate watchdog alleged that it had “colluded” with the millennial CEO’s companies in the supposed illegal investment schemes.

Isla Lipana & Co. said in a statement on Monday that it was auditing MFT Group as a “standalone entity and we are not auditors of any other company within the group,” as opposed to what was alleged in the SEC’s complaint lodged with the Department of Justice (DOJ).

“Let it be clear that only Maria Francesca Tan Group of Companies Inc. (MFT Inc. for short) is our audit client. We would also like to point out that the MFT Inc. and Foundry Ventures are two separate entities,” it said.


Isla Lipana likewise stressed that it was committed to “fully cooperate” with the ongoing investigation by the DOJ and that it stood by its record.


READ: Mica Tan companies, 30 officers face criminal raps

“During our firm’s more than 100 years of existence, we have remained steadfast in our integrity and professionalism, and strongly advocate for these values. We condemn, in no uncertain terms, the perpetration of fraud or bad faith against the public by any means,” it said in an updated statement.

Audit firm clarifies role

The SEC filed the complaint against Tan, her companies, at least 30 officers and directors, as well as Isla Lipana.

According to the regulator, Isla Lipana served as the independent auditor of both MFT Group and Foundry Ventures Inc. from 2018 to 2021.

The SEC also said Isla Lipana “colluded with the MFT Group in their fraudulent activities” by vouching for the company’s financial health despite “inconsistencies and inaccuracies” found in their financial statements.

READ: BIZ BUZZ: MFT Group not throwing in the towel


Isla Lipana said, however, that while the name of the company it audits bears “group of companies,” it was not the audit of any other company within the group, or the group in general, just MFT Inc.

“The last report we have issued for the standalone company was for the year ended 31 December 2021. We have not yet issued our report for the calendar years 2022 and 2023 pending completion of our audit procedures,” it added.

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For its part, MFT Group said that while they “have not so far been afforded due process … we trust that the DOJ will be impartial and honor our basic right to be heard through the preliminary investigation process.” INQ


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