Bankrupt Kerrville company accuses ex-president of fraud


Photo: Zeke MacCormack /San Antonio Express-News
A lawyer for The HJH Consulting Group Inc., which does business as The Salt Group, said its accounts receivable were overstated by $25 million by its former president.

 

The Kerrville consulting company that sought bankruptcy protection amid possible financial wrongdoing has accused its former president of fraud.

The HJH Consulting Group Inc., which does business as The Salt Group, also accused Stephen Canty of breaching his of fiduciary duty, according to a filing in bankruptcy court Monday.

The company said it also has a claim against Kerrville accounting firm Pressler, Thompson & Co. for “committing malpractice in regards to conducting audits for the debtor for a number of years,” according to the filing.

HJH sought bankruptcy protection “due to the fact that one of its employees manipulated (its) accounting records” to its “detriment,” it said in an April 9 court filing.

FBI agents are investigating possible wrongdoing at HJH, three people familiar with the probe told the San Antonio Express-News earlier this month. FBI spokeswoman Michelle Lee had no comment today. She has said it doesn’t confirm or deny the existence of investigations.

HJH and two related firms, US Tax Recovery Partners and B2B Prospecting, filed for Chapter 11 reorganization on April 2. The cases have been consolidated.

A search of Kerr County court records did not turn up any any litigation filed by HJH against either Canty or the accounting firm. James Wilkins, HJH’s bankruptcy lawyer, declined to comment.

HJH didn’t elaborate on its claims against Canty. His attorney, San Antonio criminal defense lawyer Gerald “Gerry” Goldstein, declined to comment.

Canty was terminated on March 26, court papers show. He worked at HJH since at least 2000. State corporate records listed him as HJH’s president. He also served as president of US Tax Recovery.

Pressler, Thompson partner Tim Porter said he wasn’t aware of any claim HJH might have against his accounting firm. He said it’s possible HJH may contend the firm failed to detect fraud during its financial audits, but added that’s not the job of an outside auditor.

“It says right on the opinion letter that if we detect (fraud), we will let it be known,” Porter said in a phone interview. “But the purpose of an audit is the expression of an opinion on financial statements.”

Porter said he hasn’t done any work for HJH since the end of 2016.

 

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