David Yates Jun. 20, 2013, 3:05pm

An accounting firm blamed for not detecting embezzlement at a client's company is now trying to add the guilty employee to its litigation.

A motion for leave to file third party petition has been filed by Brammer, Begnaud & Lattimore CPAs, the defendants whose accounting software failed to catch an employee stealing more than $1 million from the owners of a Port Neches medical office.

According to the complaint filed April 9, 2012, in Jefferson County District Court, Robert and Delaine Faseler claim they hired defendant Brammer, Begnaud & Lattimore CPAs to provide accounting services to their medical office.

In addition to the accounting firm, the Faselers name the firm’s partners — Larry Paul Begnaud, Austin Jon Begnaud and David Lauer Lattimore — as defendants.

The defendants filed their motion for leave on June 11, seeking leave to file a third party petition against the former employee, Denise Vidrine, who pleaded guilty to the embezzlement, court papers say.

According to the original complaint,  Brammer, Begnaud & Lattimore had been doing accounting work for the Faselers for more than 20 years and had recently installed an accounting software system used by the medical practice’s employees.

However, when installing the software, the accounting firm failed to install a security function that would prevent manipulation of the system, the suit alleges.

In turn, an employee at the medical office embezzled nearly $1 million from the Faselers from 2005 until September 2010, the complaint says.

The Faselers allege negligence against the defendants, saying they negligently failed to properly train the plaintiffs on the software and failed to properly install the software, among other negligent acts. They also allege negligent misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty against the defendants.

The Faselers are seeking an unspecified judgment, plus pre- and post-judgment interest at the legal rate, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Jessica L. Hallmark and Robert B. Dunham of Dunham Hallmark in Beaumont represent them.

The defendants are represented by Houston attorney David Miller of Miller, Scamardi & Carrabba.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, is presiding over the case.

Case No. E192-280


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