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Board warns accountant
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A state board that oversees professional licensing last Wednesday told a local accountant accused of substandard practices to follow the rules or lose his license.


The Georgia State Board of Accountancy approved an order warning Warren H. Pennington that his license is subject to revocation if he violates any state or federal laws relating to the practice of accounting.


Pennington, 61, of Dawsonville, has been under investigation by the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office since the summer of 2008 when he was accused of stealing more than $60,000 from a client’s escrow account set up as a tax shelter.


He was acquitted on the single theft by conversion charge, but was arrested again in October 2008 on nine additional theft by conversion counts.


Pennington is currently awaiting trial for allegedly funneling more than $40,000 that clients placed in escrow accounts to pay income tax liabilities to his personal and business expenses, according to the board order.


The order states Pennington violated Georgia code by failing to “properly supervise clients’ funds,” which is “sufficient grounds for the imposition of sanctions” on his certificate and permit to practice accounting, as well as his firm registration.


According to the order, Pennington must abide by all state and federal laws relating to the practice of accounting to keep his license. If he is found guilty of the criminal charges, “he shall surrender his certificate, live permit and firm registration to the board.”


Pennington, who waived the right to a hearing on the matter, has said his former office manager, who was arrested in July 2008 for embezzling more than $93,000 from Pennington’s firm, is responsible for the thefts.


He has also said he will be vindicated in the end and cleared of the remaining criminal charges.


No court date has been set.