The Livent due diligence was conducted by KPMG accountant Robert Webster who was eventually appointed as Livent Executive Vice President. Messina disclosed the fraud to Webster on August 6, 1998. Rather then be furious at Messina and the rest of the Livent accountants for misleading him – and Ovitz – during the due diligence, they believed the group and granted them sweeping indemnity agreements that were “breathtaking in scope,” the defence argues.
Why did they do that? Well, if Hollywood powerhouse Michael Ovitz had to admit that he had been “hoodwinked” by a bunch of junior accountants, that would ahve been “humiliating,” damaged his reputation and opened him up to civil liability.