Winston, Mervin of Plymouth, MN

January 6, 2017

As a result of an investigation of alleged violations of the codes of professional conduct of the AICPA and the Minnesota Society of CPAs, Mr. Winston, with the firm of Numbers Talk, Ltd., entered into a settlement agreement under the Joint Ethics Enforcement Program, effective November 8, 2016.

Information came to the attention of the Ethics Charging Authority (“ECA”) (comprised of the AICPA Professional Ethics Executive Committee and the Minnesota Society of CPAs Professional Ethics Committee) alleging a potential disciplinary matter with respect to Mr. Winston’s failure to ensure his firm obtained an appropriate peer review.

The ECA reviewed the allegations in the referral and information publicly available on the United States Department of Labor’s EFAST website and Mr. Winston’s responses to such allegations.  The ECA charged Mr. Winston with violations of the AICPA and the Minnesota Society of CPAs Codes of Professional Conduct as follows:

Rule 501, Interpretation 5 – Failure to follow requirements of governmental bodies, commissions, or other regulatory agencies

As the partner responsible for his firm’s peer review compliance, Mr. Winston failed to ensure it complied with state board requirements and that of the AICPA and the Minnesota Society of CPAs to undergo a peer review.

Agreement:

In consideration of the ECA forgoing further investigation of Mr. Winston’s conduct as described above and in consideration of the ECA forgoing any further proceedings in the matter, Mr. Winston agreed as follows:

  1. To waive his rights to a hearing under AICPA bylaws section 7.4 and the Minnesota Society of CPAs bylaws Article XII Section 4.

  2. To neither admit nor deny the above specified charges.

  3. To his suspension from membership in the AICPA and the Minnesota Society of CPAs for a period of two years from the effective date of this agreement.

  4. That the ECA shall publish his name, the name of his firm, the charge, and the terms of this settlement agreement.