(EnergyAsia, October 4 2011, Tuesday) — Scandal-hit Puda Coal said its CEO, the legal counsel to its chairman, and the company’s CFO had all resigned in late September.

CEO and director Liping Zhu submitted his resignations to the board on September 22 and was followed by Qiong (Laby) Wu as its chief financial officer and corporate secretary five days later.

The New York-listed company yesterday announced that Shearman & Sterling LLP, the legal counsel to chairman Ming Zhao, had resigned on September 26.

“On August 29, 2011, Mr Zhu provided a false letter from CITIC Trust Co. Ltd. (CITIC) to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and to counsel for Ming Zhao, chairman of Puda Coal.

On September 1, the company filed a report with the SEC disclosing interim findings of the internal investigation by the audit committee that Mr Zhao, through his counsel, provided the audit committee with a letter purportedly from CITIC that could not be verified.

In his resignation to the board on September 26, Mr Zhu stated that he had provided a false letter from CITIC to the SEC and to counsel for Mr Zhao.

Three days later, the audit committee received confirmation from CITIC that it did not issue the “CITIC Letter.”

CITIC also stated that the information it had publicly disclosed regarding the CITIC Juxinhuijin Coal Industry Investment Fund No.1 Collective Trust Plan, including the information contained in each of its quarterly management reports and other documents posted on its website, http://www.ecitic.com, was true and valid, but CITIC did not provide any underlying documents related to the trust plan or any other purported transaction between CITIC and the company’s operating subsidiary, Shanxi Puda Coal Group Co Ltd.