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The Boston Globe

Business

SEC charges 5 firms’ China-based affiliates

WASHINGTON — The Securities and Exchange Commission charged the Chinese affiliates of five big accounting firms Monday with violating securities laws, claiming they failed to produce documents from their audits of several China-based companies under investigation for fraud.

The agency, which has been broadly investigating Chinese companies that have gone public in the United States, said that it had been trying for months to obtain certain paperwork from the accounting firms. But the government said the auditors ‘‘refused to cooperate,’’ citing prohibitions in local law.

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