Does
Melbourne accountant Greg Lay have a professional obligation to give
evidence of his former client Steve Vizard’s business activities? His
refusal to do so is the main stumbling block between Vizard and
criminal charges for insider trading.

According to the Financial Review today, Lay – as a
fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and chairman of
accounting firm Bentleys MRI – is bound by ICA rules to report fraud
and other legal acts “including offences relating to inside
information.”

Could Lay lose his ICA membership for breaking
the rules or will he be disciplined? Or is he the only person in the
country who can’t be compelled to give evidence in a criminal trial?
asks Christine Lacy in the SMH. Crikey called the ICA this morning to put those and other questions, and we’re still waiting for a reply.

Here’s what the ICAs member handbook has to say on reporting fraud and other illegal acts.

Peter Fray

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