“The SEC is going to notice this,” says a StreetSweeper blog from 2011 about the financial doings of Miller Energy and its new auditor, KPMG. The SEC sure did notice—and, after investigating it, the matter has been settled, with KPMG paying a $6.2 million fine over alleged audit failures (see prior coverage). KPMG’s engagement partner in charge of the audit also agreed to settle charges against him. Melissa Davis at TheStreetSweeper did the original reporting back in 2011 that revealed a laundry list of financial issues including questionable valuations of oil and gas assets Miller had purchased for $4.5 million but booked at $480 million. In 2015, Miller was charged with accounting fraud and later settled the charges.
In today’s world, when something seems fishy or if a company gets hit with an adverse regulatory action, word spreads faster than ever. Valuation experts should consider this increased exposure or potential exposure of these things going viral. Negative coverage can catch the eye of customers, regulators, and investors. TheStreetSweeper’s masthead reads: “We uncover the dirty little secrets investors need to know.”