Legal issues

Practice

To contest or not to contest: Unemployment compensation claims

Former employees occasionally seek unemployment benefits they don’t deserve, either because they are desperate, confused, or trying to cheat the system. Employers, bearing the cost of unemployment payments, must evaluate whether to challenge those unemployment claims.
Tax

Convictions upheld, fine reduced in KPMG tax shelter case

A $6 million fine levied against former KPMG LLP senior manager John Larson for selling illegal tax shelters was reduced by half last week by a U.S. appeals court.
Community News

Hedge fund investors sue Ernst & Young over fraudulent auditing practices

Five investors who lost millions of dollars following the collapse of a Plano, TX-based hedge fund in 2008 filed a lawsuit against Ernst & Young LLP last week that accuses the Big Four accounting firm of fraud during its time as the fund’s auditor.
Practice

Why all managers should attend employment law training

Managers need to understand and be familiar with employment laws because acting within the law, following the company’s policies, and avoiding liability are all part and parcel of the manager’s job duties.

Does a letter from the IRS denying whistleblower claim confer jurisdiction upon the Tax Court to review that claim?

IRC Sec. 7623(b) provides awards to whistleblowers if the secretary of the treasury proceeds with any administrative or judicial action that is based on information brought to the secretary’s attention by an individual.
A&A

New financial reform legislation might be jobs bill for attorneys

Is there any industry that seems happy with the new financial reform bill? Definitely. Some attorneys are making it very clear they welcome the flood of new business that the recently signed Restoring American Financial Stability Act (RAFS) will bring…and already has brought.
Practice Management

Managing medical marijuana use in the workplace

For employers with operations in the 14 states that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, it is a difficult task to juggle the need for a drug-free workplace environment and the rights of employees who have prescriptions to legally use marijuana.
A&A

Ernst & Young pays fine, costs to settle Equitable Life investigation

Ernst & Young has agreed to pay a £500,000 (U.S. $748,616) fine plus £2.4 million (U.S. $3,594,667) in costs to the Joint Disciplinary Scheme and Appeal Tribunal as settlement for its role in the near collapse of client Equitable Life in 2000.
A&A

UPDATE: Supreme Court rules PCAOB violates Constitution's separation of powers principle

The U.S. Supreme Court this week ruled that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board violates the U.S. Constitution's separation of powers principle.
A&A

Trust accounting for lawyers

Arizona soon will become one of the few states in the country that subjects lawyers to random audits of their client trust accounts. Lawyers need to know that there are specific requirements for trust accounting recordkeeping, including risk management and internal control procedures.
Tax

Michigan CPA to serve up to 20 years for embezzlement

An accountant from Kalamazoo, Michigan, has been sentenced to pay $3 million in restitution and to serve five to 20 years in prison for embezzlement from clients.
Tax

E&Y and UBS settle HealthSouth lawsuits

Swiss bank UBS AG and accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP have agreed to pay $250.5 million to resolve investor lawsuits regarding an accounting fraud uncovered at HealthSouth Corp. in 2003.
A&A

Investment fund company files lawsuit against Ernst & Young, UBS

Administrators of an investment fund associated with fraudster Bernard Madoff are suing Ernst & Young LLP and Switzerland's biggest bank, UBS AG.
Tax

The Internet nexus sales tax debate: "Amazon Laws" vs. the Streamlined Sales Tax Project

While the precise amount of sales tax revenue that is lost through online retailing may be in question, there is little doubt that the amounts are large enough to warrant attention by state budget directors who are looking for money.
Tax

Online retailers Amazon, Overstock.com in tax dispute with states

Soon after dropping its California and Hawaii-based marketing affiliates over online tax issues, Overstock.com reversed its decision after state officials assured the online retailer that sales tax bills in those states won't become law.The issue centers on legislation that requires companies to collect sales tax if they have marketing affiliates in the state. Affiliates earn money by posting ads for Overstock and its products on their Web sites.
Tax

Ex-CEO of BDO Seidman, 6 others indicted in tax shelter case

The former head of BDO Seidman LLP and six others face conspiracy and tax evasion charges relating to an alleged tax-shelter fraud that created $7 billion in fake losses for wealthy clients.Prosecutors contend the defendants were involved in a scheme to defraud the IRS from 1994 to 2004 through the "design, marketing and implementation of fraudulent tax shelters." The conspiracy and tax evasion counts carry maximum prison terms of five years, Bloomberg reported.The 27-count indictment charges Denis Field, the former CEO and chairman of BDO; tax lawyer Paul M.
Tax

Jail for accountants in tax shelter case

A former senior manager and a former partner of KPMG who left the Big Four firm more than a decade ago to form their own business were sentenced and fined millions of dollars earlier this month after being convicted in December of selling illegal tax shelters that helped their clients avoid paying millions.In Manhattan Federal Court, former senior manager John Larson was sentenced to a decade in prison and fined $6 million. Former KPMG tax partner Robert Pfaff was sentenced to eight years and ordered to pay $3 million.
Practice Management

Avoiding holiday liability

The holidays should be a cheerful, festive and happy time of year. However, the holidays can provide fertile ground for potential legal liability against employers. Seemingly simple scenarios, such as employees taking time off of work for religious observance, and employers giving end-of-year bonuses and hosting holiday parties, all can have legal consequences.
Community News

Deloitte accuses former partner of insider trading

Deloitte has filed a lawsuit against a former partner in its Chicago office, contending the man traded on inside information related to audit clients.Thomas Flanagan, a 30-year Deloitte partner, allegedly bought stock in an unnamed publicly traded company one week prior to Walgreen's July 2007 announcement that it bought Option Care Inc., the Chicago Tribune reported. Flanagan, 61, served as advisory partner, managing the client relationship with Walgreens.
Community News

PwC pays $97 million to Ohio pension funds in AIG case

Big Four firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has agreed to pay three Ohio pension funds $97.5 million to settle its part of a securities class action filed against American International Group (AIG).The settlement stems from a suit filed against AIG in 2004 by three Columbus-based pension funds: the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio, and the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund. The pension funds wanted damages for shares bought between October 1999 and April 2005.

Pages