Accounting offices are normally so staid and quiet you can hear the gentle purr of the air-conditioning system.
Not so at KPMG's Los Angeles office in the wake of an unfolding insider-trading investigation involving a former colleague.
According to a manager in the office, the mood was solemn and anxiety amid accusations that former top auditor Scott London had passed sensitive information about two clients to a friend who traded on the tidbits.
Many KPMG employees worried that the insider-trading allegations could scar the company's relationship with clients and dent its recruitment of top prospects, said the manager, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about the case.
"We're all very disappointed," the manager said.
The allegations are unlikely to derail the company as the Enron scandal did to once-mighty
Still, it is a "major blow," the manager said.