has agreed to fork over $8.25 million to settle a class-action suit related to its audit of two collapsed mutual funds that were managed by Heartland Adivsors Inc.
, The Associated Press
PricewaterhouseCoopers was Heartlandís accounting firm at the time when the Milwaukee-based investment adviser dropped the value of the two funds in 2000. The Securities and Exchange Commission has pegged the loss to shareholders at around $80 million.
"Given the uncertain outcome of litigation we made a business decision to settle the case
for a fraction of the original claim without admitting any liability," Pricewaterhouse spokesman Steven Silber was quoted in the report as saying.
The settlement is not expected to be approved by U.S. District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller until April.
Heartland has settled the suit for $14 million, while a firm that provided prices for some of the fundsí bonds shelled out $1 million.
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