Legal issues

Tax

Stiff Court Penalties for Frivolous Appeals to Delay IRS Collections

In the past year, the U.S. Tax Court imposed nearly $136,000 in penalties on 23 taxpayers for pursuing frivolous cases to delay tax collections."The courts are increasingly recognizing the need to impose penalties on taxpayers pursuing frivolous cases," said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson. "During the past year, we saw bigger penalties than we did for the previous two years combined. This is an important tool to help us maintain faith in the tax system.
Tax

Judge Denies Mistrial Request in Kozlowski Trial

With the atmosphere in the jury room described as “poisonous” and one juror under media fire for an alleged gesture made in court last week, calls for a mistrial in the trial of Dennis Kozlowski and Mark Swartz were denied yesterday by New York Supreme Court Justice Michael Obus.Kozlowski and Swarz face up to 30 years in prison if convicted on charges they looted Tyco International Ltd. of $600 million.
Tax

Dynegy’s Olis Sentenced to 24 Years in Prison For Accounting Fraud

Jamie Olis, a Korean-American who overcame a difficult childhood and economic struggles to become vice president of finance at Dynegy Inc., was sentenced to 24 years in prison for his part on a $300 million fraud at the company.Dynegy, a Houston-based natural gas and power company, had attempted to acquire Enron, but called off the purchase just before Enron’s collapse in 2001.Under new federal sentencing guidelines, Olis must serve about 85 percent of his term and federal prisoners are not eligible for parole. He is the father of a newborn daughter. U.S.
Tax

Maryland Takes Steps to Close Delaware Tax Loophole

Delaware has long been known as a tax haven for companies that set up holding companies as tax shelters in the state. The Maryland House of Delegates passed a bill this week that would close the loophole that makes it possible for Maryland companies to use the Delaware tax shelter. The Senate passed a similar bill last week, the Baltimore Sun reported.Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.
Tax

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Delusional Anti-Tax Crusader

Irwin Schiff, an anti-tax author who has urged thousands of Americans to pay no taxes, was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on tax evasion and conspiracy to defraud the United States.According to the New York Times, the indictment handed up in Las Vegas also charges Schiff with preparing at least 4,950 returns that fraudulently listed zero income, failing to report $3.7 million in sales at his bookstore from 1997 through 2002 and using offshore accounts and an illegal "Christian Patriot Association" bank in Oregon to hide income and assets.
Technology

Google Search Results Anger California Accountant; Suit Filed

Have you "Googled" yourself? You might be surprised by what you find attached to your name. A California accountant was so dismayed by what he called "alarming, false, misleading and injurious results," he sued Google, AOL, Time Warner and Yahoo!

Putnam Says Ex-CEO Hid Abuses, Fights SEC Fines

Putnam Investments accuses its ex-CEO of covering up improper trading at the company, which is planning to fight the Securities and Exchange Commission over fines levied in the case.In documents released by the SEC this week, Putnam wrote that former CEO Lawrence Lasser knew employees were violating company rules but said nothing in order to protect his compensation, which totaled more than $100 million over the last five years."When it came time to respond to evidence of market timing by Putnam employees, Lasser made a conscious decision to stick his head in the sand," Putnam said in th
Tax

Judge Orders WorldCom to Stop Paying KPMG

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Gonzalez has ordered WorldCom to stop paying its external auditor KMPG after 14 states announced last week that the Big Four firm gave the company advice designed to avoid some state taxes.WorldCom called the judge’s move a "standard procedural step," which occurs anytime a party in a bankruptcy proceeding has objections to fees paid to advisors.
Community News

PCAOB Names Director of Investigations and Enforcement

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board announced this week that Claudius B. Modesti will join the Board's staff as its Director of Investigations and Enforcement, effective May 3, 2004. Mr. Modesti, 39, currently is an Assistant United States Attorney for the United States Attorney's office for the Eastern District of Virginia where he has led the investigation and prosecution of white-collar crimes with an emphasis on securities fraud. He was also appointed corporate fraud coordinator for the office.
Tax

The Journal of Taxation Celebrates 50 Years of Publication

The Journal of Taxation, the renowned journal for the legal and accounting professions published by Warren, Gorham & Lamont, a Thomson business, celebrates 50 years of publication.
Technology

H&R Block Broker Branch Under Scrutiny; Computer Server Stolen

As H&R Block revealed that National Association of Securities Dealers is considering disciplinary action against the company for allowing improper mutual fund trading and market timing, the tax preparation branch also reported the theft of a server containing client information.In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing last week, H&R Block reported that its 1,000-person broker-dealer unit violated federal securities laws and association rules, the Arizona Republic reported.
Tax

Skilling Pays Lawyers $23 Million Before Assets Frozen

High-profile lawyers don’t come cheap, especially when you are former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling, who faces criminal and civil cases that could drag on for years.Court documents show that Skilling paid his Houston attorneys $23 million toward his defense before his assets worth $55 million were frozen by the government, the Associated Press reported. Among the assets frozen were Skilling’s homes. "It sounds like a lot at first. But based on the number of cases Mr.
A&A

KPMG’s Independence Questioned by States in WorldCom Bankruptcy Proceedings

As WorldCom strives to emerge next month from bankruptcy-court protection, several states are questioning the independence of KPMG, the company’s auditor.The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is claiming it was denied $89.9 million in tax revenue because of an aggressive KPMG-promoted tax strategy that helped WorldCom cut its state tax obligations by hundreds of millions of dollars in the years before its 2002 bankruptcy filing, the Wall Street Journal reported.Thirteen other states have joined the action led by Massachusetts Commissioner of Revenue Alan LeBovidge, who filed documents yest
Tax

Resume Fraud Gets Sophisticated; What You Need to Know

The combination of a sluggish job market and poorly protected databases is opening the door to a new, more sophisticated wave of resume fraud, with some candidates stooping to breaking the law to boost their chances with prospective employers.Adding to the dishonest atmosphere is the uprising of websites that exist solely to provide job-seekers with false credentials, including college degrees and previous work experience."Candidates are allegedly breaking the law to get a particular job or promotion, and that is pretty much going to the full extent of the limit," Scott Pustizzi, vice pr
Tax

Bank of America to Pay $375 Million, Exit Mutual Fund Clearing Business

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced a settlement agreement in principle with Bank of America of securities fraud charges arising from arrangements to permit timing in certain Nations Funds mutual funds and for facilitating market timing and late trading by certain customers. The agreement in principle is subject to the approval by the Commission. Bank of America has agreed to pay a total of $375 million, consisting of $250 million in disgorgement and $125 million in penalties.
Tax

WorldCom Restatement Hovers Around $11 Billion

The nation’s second-largest telecommunications company is about to close its darkest chapter after rebuilding its books from scratch and restating its financial reports to the tune of about $11 billion.
Tax

Civil Case Tossed out in KPMG Tax Shelter Case

A federal district judge in Orlando, FL, dismissed a high-profile case brought by a disgruntled client who charged KPMG had fraudulently convinced him to buy an unsafe income-tax shelter, the Wall Street Journal reported.KPMG, the nation’s fourth-largest accounting firm, has been under scrutiny over several of its controversial tax shelter products. The company admitted last month that it is the subject of a federal probe "in connection with certain tax strategies," the WSJ reported then.
Tax

Enron Class-Action Trial Bumped to 2006

Get used to the word Enron, it is here to stay for some time to come. As criminal cases wind their way through the courts, the trial for the class-action lawsuit filed by former employees and shareholders has been postponed again—this time to 2006.U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon set an Oct. 16, 2006 trial date this week, which is the third time a trial date has been set. Harmon was overly optimistic back in 2002 when she set a 2003 trial date to deal with the thousands of claims filed in 2001. The 2003 date was later postponed to 2005 and now to 2006.
A&A

Martha’s Case Serves Up New Batch of Lessons

While plenty of Martha bashers are enjoying the idea of the style maven locked behind bars, there are those even among her detractors who can’t fathom how she is suddenly a convicted felon when those people who caused Enron’s downfall are still walking the streets. According to one pundit, they committed REAL crimes.

Bank of America to Pay Record Fine for Failing to Cooperate with SEC

Proving that the in the new post-Enron environment, the Securities and Exchange Commission has no patience for stonewalling, the SEC said Wednesday that the Bank of America Corp.

Pages


Already a member? log in here.