This is not the first time the fund industry has faced challenges with independent auditors.

In the summer of 1999, Fidelity Investments discovered that a manager within the consulting unit of PriceWaterhouseCoopers had owned shares of one of the Fidelity fund's that PriceWaterhouse's auditing division served as the independent auditor. Even though the manager had no direct ties to the actual auditors responsible for auditing the fund, SEC regulations as well as accounting standards prohibit partners, certain officers and managers of audit firms from owning shares in companies to which the firm provides independent auditing services.

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