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The Financial Times reports this morning that top executives at Ahold knew about accounting issues at the company’s US Foodservice division as early as 2001.

According to the report, US Foodservice CFO Ernie Smith quit after three months in the job because he was uncomfortable with the company’s accounting procedures, had informed the parent company about his concerns but had not been satisfied with its response.

Ahold is being investigated by American and Dutch authorities after revealing that it had overstated profits since 2001 by more than $500 million, a revelation that caused the company’s CEO and CFO to resign. Subsequent reports have suggested that the accounting issues may date back several years earlier.

According to the FT story, the report about Smith’s concerns originated from another former senior executive with the company. Smith himself would not comment, and nor would Ahold company officials.

FT also said that a former Ahold executive has said that internal auditors were unsure about US Foodservice's accounts before the $3.6 billion takeover in 2000.
KC's View:
Like an onion, this thing will keep peeling away. Like an onion, it’s gonna make a number of people cry.

And there’s no sign that things are going to change for the better for Ahold or the industry…just check out our next story.