Legal issues

Education & Careers

Downgrading Partners Could Cost Firm: EEOC Able to Seek Monetary Relief

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a petition filed on behalf of international law firm Sidley Austin Brown & Wood (Sidley & Austin) regarding the ability of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to pursue monetary damages and other individual victim-specific relief in the ongoing discrimination suit against the firm. The refusal comes just months after the number of workers age 55 and older reached 24.6 million, the highest level ever recorded, according to a study from Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
Community News

Tax Preparers Going to Jail and Barred from Promoting Tax Fraud Scheme

In separate cases, tax preparers have been found guilty of promoting fraudulent tax schemes and filing fraudulent tax returns in an attempt to defraud the U.S. government of tax revenues legally owed to them. Some of the tax preparers will serve prison terms, while others will be barred from various activities related to the fraud they are accused or convicted of.“Dishonest tax professionals harm the good reputation of honest ones and cheat all honest taxpayers,” Eileen J.
Tax

East European Hackers Invade Online Brokerage Accounts

Using spyware loaded on public computers in internet cafes or hotels or attached to email messages to potential victims, hi-tech crooks, operating from remote locations, have been able to enter online brokerage accounts in the U.S. and either sell off the contents and take the proceeds or manipulate stock prices, according to regulators at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Reuters reports.
Practice Management

Legal, Tax & Regulatory Information Market to Exceed $18 Billion by 2009

Providers of legal, tax and regulatory information can look forward to a compound annual growth rate of 6.5 percent from 2006 to 2009, according to the first annual MarketVeiw report from Outsell, Inc., the only research and advisory firm for the worldwide information industry.
Community News

Erasing Enron: Federal Judge Vacates Lay’s Conviction

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Simeon T. Lake III, in Houston, vacated the convictions of late Enron Corp. founder Kenneth Lay.
A&A

Accounting Rules Allow “Spring-loading,” “Bullet-dodging” Option Grants

The government will not have any accounting basis for enforcement actions against companies for “spring-loading” or “bullet-dodging” stock option grants, according to Scott Taub, deputy chief accountant for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC ). Taub spoke at a Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) advisory council meeting in New York on Tuesday, Reuters reports.
Tax

Goldman Sachs Added as Defendant in Fannie Mae Suits

In a time of increased scrutiny on brokerages, Goldman, Sachs & Co. has been added as a defendant in lawsuits related to questionable accounting practices by mortgage giant Fannie Mae.Complaints allege that Goldman, Sachs & Co. violated U.S. securities laws while allegedly arranging Fannie Mae-sponsored bond deals, the brokerage said in its quarterly report with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Fastow’s Shortened Sentence Sparks Surprise, Anger

A federal judge last week shortened the prison sentence for former Enron Corp. finance chief Andrew S. Fastow from 10 years to six, prompting surprised reactions from those who thought his sentence was a done deal.Fastow made a plea deal in 2004, agreeing to cooperate with investigators. He also agreed not to seek a reduction in his 10-year prison term for pocketing more than $45 million from the Houston energy giant. “My outcome is already determined,” he had told the court.
Tax

HealthSouth Agrees to $445 Million Settlement

HealthSouth Corp. announced on Wednesday that it will pay $445 million to settle several lawsuits that were filed against the company and some of its former directors after an accounting scandal.HealthSouth will pay $215 million in common stock and warrants, and its insurance carriers will pay $230 million in cash, the company said.
Tax

Indiana Community Weathers Collapse of Local Bank

Earl Ford McNaughton might never have realized the effect of his actions today, had anyone asked about his future several years ago. Back then he was the champion of the small Indiana town in Steuben County that his family had first settled in 1836. That year, KPCNews.net reports, his great-great-great-grandfather, Alexander McNaughton, built a water-powered grinding mill in his little town of Ray.
Tax

Updated: As Ebbers Enters Prison, Some Question the Justice of the Sentence

Bernard J. Ebbers, 65, entered federal prison Tuesday to start his 25-year sentence for his part in the $11 billion accounting fraud at WorldCom Inc. that led to bankruptcy for the company he founded and financial pain for investors.On the same day that Ebbers drove his Mercedes into the Oakdale Correctional Complex in Louisiana, Andrew S. Fastow, the former Enron Corp. finance chief, was sentenced to six years in prison and two years of community service.
Tax

California Church Fights IRS Summons

Although the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will not comment on the dispute, an Episcopal church in Pasadena, Calif., has been threatened with the loss of its tax-exempt status.
Tax

Enron Ex-Vice Chairman's Estate Must Return $1.3 Million

Judge Arthur Gonzalez of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan ruled late last week that deferred compensation payments made in the months preceding the company’s fall, to John Clifford Baxter, the former vice chairman of Enron Corp., favored Baxter over other creditors. Baxter received $1.3 million of the $1.4 million he had in his deferred-compensation account on September 30, 2001.
Community News

Thinking About Food: The Price of Healthy Eating

On September 14, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning against spinach consumption in the United States as a result of more than 100 cases of E. coli being reported across 20 states and linked to uncooked spinach. This is the latest of the health-related blows that periodically rock the food industry and have an extensive financial impact.Consider: Two lawsuits have already been filed related to the current outbreak. The first was filed in District Court in Oregon and the second in the District Court of the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
Community News

OFHEO Head Wants Congress to Act on New Rules for Fannie and Freddie

James Lockhart, director of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), the federal watchdog for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage giants, said in prepared remarks to the American Enterprise Institute that if Congress does not act now on a bill to create stronger regulations for the companies, “the enterprises and their shareholders will continue to confront uncertainty,” MarketWatch reports.
Tax

Largest Transfer Pricing Dispute Settled

The transfer pricing dispute between the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Glaxo SmithKline (Americas) Inc. & Subsidiaries (GSK), representing the largest tax dispute in IRS’ history, has been successfully resolved. In order to conclude the dispute, which is still pending in the U.S.

SEC, Justice Department Support PCAOB Constitutionality

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the U.S.

Pension Protection Act Modernizes the Tax Court

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 does far more than protect pensions.

Justice Department Will Not Charge Fannie; Freddie Still Faces Civil Penalties

Fannie Mae announced on Thursday that the Department of Justice (DOJ) had concluded its investigation into the accounting scandal at the giant mortgage company, a decision that removed the threat of criminal charges against the company.

Candidates for Missouri State Auditor Trade Charges of Incompetence

Democrat Susan Montee and Republican Sandra Thomas, opposing candidates for Missouri state auditor, accused each other in a series of charges and countercharges this week of failing to exercise their responsibilities as auditors of their home counties.Advertisement

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