Watchdog

Practice

Avoid a fraud hangover this New Year

Fraud loves Christmas. Andrew Durant provides a checklist of actions for finance staff to undertake before and after the festive holiday that will help prevent fraud or spot something out of order.The Finance Director had been acting strangely for weeks - he said this was due to work pressures in the lead up to the year-end. He was due to return from the Christmas break in the first week of January but called in ill.
Tax

"Dividing the Estate" enlivens Broadway

In addition to making audiences laugh out loud, the revival of Horton Foote's Dividing the Estate takes a sharp look at family politics and economic interests that have played a role in our current economic outlook.Pulitzer Prize-winner Foote shows how tough economic times in the late 1980s are forcing a chatty Texas family to confront its past before it can prepare for its future. Southern matriarch Stella Gordon rules over the purse strings and dominates her family, which lives off the income earned from her estate.
Tax

Raffaello Follieri's fall from grace

Oh, how the mighty have fallen! As it turns out, Raffaello Follieri doesn't exactly qualify as "mighty," but to attain a lavish lifestyle and celebrity girlfriend -- Anne Hathaway -- he dropped some mighty big names... the biggest. His romance with Hathaway fell apart last summer shortly before she helped the FBI put together a case against Follieri that could've gotten him a prison sentence of 265 years.Here's what Follieri did, according to authorities. In 2003, he arrived in New York, claiming to have inside ties to the Vatican.
Tax

Melissa Etheridge suggests California gays stop paying taxes

Since the recent passage of Proposition 8 in California, restricting the definition of marriage to a union between a man and a woman, homosexual men and woman and those sympathetic to their cause have engaged in numerous protests. Singer, songwriter Melissa Etheridge has chosen to voice her objection to the legislation by encouraging a tax revolt. In her blog, she wrote:"Okay. So Prop 8 passed. Alright, I get it. 51% of you think that I am a second class citizen.... Okay, so I am taking that to mean I do not have to pay my state taxes because I am not a full citizen.
Tax

SEC files insider trading charges against Mark Cuban

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Dallas entrepreneur Mark Cuban with insider trading for selling 600,000 shares of the stock of an Internet search engine company on the basis of material, non-public information concerning an impending stock offering.The Commission's complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, alleges that in June 2004, Mamma.com Inc.
Tax

IGAF Firms Interview with Ray Dunkle of Brockman, Coats, Gedelian & Company

This is one article in a series of interviews with firms that are members of the International Group of Accounting Firms (IGAF).Ray Dunkle started his accounting career like many CPAs, by getting a degree and then putting in years as an auditor. But, he admits, this wasn't exactly the life he envisioned. Then one day, as he was starting a new job as an auditing supervisor, his career took a quick right turn and ended up on a path much more suited to his liking.
Tax

Long Island students will be IRS agents for a day

Business owners skimming funds from their company. A bar owner who keeps two sets of books. A multi-filer tax scheme. As special Internal Revenue Service agents for a day, students from Long Island University's Brooklyn Campus will see what it is like to solve white-collar crimes like these. Working with real IRS agents on pretend crime investigations, students will be introduced to forensic careers in accounting.
Tax

Helio Castroneves still faces tax charges, but may now race outside the country

Just two weeks ago he stood in a Miami court in leg irons and handcuffs, as the judge set bail at a cool $10 million and ordered him not to leave the country. Even so, on October 26th, Helio Castroneves will be racing in the Nikon Indy 300 at Surfer's Paradise on Australia's Gold Coast. The 33 year old two-time Indy 500 champ and winner of 2007's Dancing With the Stars was indicted on October 2nd on multiple charges of tax evasion. But two weeks later, Judge William C. Turnoff has given him permission to compete in the race "down under" later this month.
Tax

Can racecar champ Helio Castroneves outrun the taxman?

A winner on the Indy racetrack and onstage at Dancing With the Stars... but in one of his most recent appearances, Helio Castroneves was wearing handcuffs and leg irons. Last Friday the 33 year old Brazilian racecar driver appeared in court to face multiple charges of tax evasion and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States of taxes on $5.5 million in income.
Tax

Tax woes may have Paul Hogan feeling “down under”

The largest tax fraud inquiry in Australia's history, that's the way the Australian Crime Commission describes the scam, or series of scams in which Crocodile Dundee star, Paul Hogan is accused of taking part. The official inquiry, called "Operation Wickenby," is in its fourth year. When the investigation started, the ACC estimated it could clawback about $300 million (Australian) in unpaid taxes.
Tax

Demand for forensic CPAs increases

Demand for CPAs providing forensic accounting services has accelerated, according to a survey by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.Two out of three CPAs polled (68 percent) say their forensic practices have grown over the past year."The survey findings tell us that not only are forensic accounting services in demand, but specifically that CPAs with this expertise are in high demand," said Stephen Winters, AICPA director, firm practice management and specialized communities.
Tax

Nicolas Cage challenges IRS and gets a lower tax bite

He fought the IRS and won, sort of. Now he only owes two-thirds of a million dollars, still enough to make most grown men cry. Actor Nicolas Cage is yet another celebrity caught in the glare of the IRS spotlight as the tax agency focuses on high income earners. Forbes.com reported last spring that Cage was notified by the IRS that he and his company, Saturn Productions of Los Angeles, might be in trouble. The issue? Improper deductions and underreported income.
Tax

Football great Bernie Kosar pays tax lien

Bernie Kosar, the former National Football League quarterback, says he has paid the $228,806.21 lien the IRS placed on him for income taxed owed for 2006, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The Miami Herald had reported Kosar was behind on property tax for 2007, failing to pay $52,724.95 as of March 31, owing $59,881.49 with penalties, interest, and other charges.As a player for the Browns, Kosar helped guide the team to three AFC Championship games. He also played with the Cowboys, and the Dolphins.
Tax

A tax tale gone wild: Is Joe Francis a victim of the rogue IRS and a disgruntled CPA?

Joe Francis, founder of the "Girls Gone Wild" videos, is no stranger to legal trouble. But according to his attorney Robert Bernhoft, the eleven months Francis just spent in jail awaiting trial on felony tax evasion charges had nothing to do with any misbehavior on his part. Instead, the trouble stems from the government persecuting his client because, says Bernhoft: They don't like his videos; they are jealous of his youth and his enormous success; and the IRS runs a "rat-out-your-neighbor" abusive Whistleblower program.
Tax

Celebrity Watch: Michael Vick adds back-taxes to list of woes

Former NFL quarterback Michael Vick, currently serving a prison term for criminal conspiracy resulting from felonious dog fighting, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month and has requested more time for preparing the paperwork in his bankruptcy proceeding.
Tax

IRS employee charged with illegally accessing celebrity tax records

An Internal Revenue Service tax examiner has been charged with snooping into the tax records of nearly 200 actors, celebrities, professional athletes, and even his next-door neighbor.John Snyder, of the Covington, KY IRS processing center, allegedly looked up personal information on actors Kevin Bacon, Alec Baldwin, Sally Field, Vanna White, and the late Eddie Albert.
Tax

Celebrity Watch: Snipes, out on bail, continues his fight

Actor Wesley Snipes is fighting the government again, but this time over a bill of nearly $260,000 to cover the costs of prosecuting him on tax evasion charges.According to the Ocala Star-Banner, federal prosecutors in May asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Gary R. Jones to order Snipes to pay $257,687 for the cost of prosecuting the case. Snipes's lawyers, in a motion filed May 28, argued that the costs should not be allowed.His lawyers noted that Snipes was acquitted of some of the charges, and the bill wrongly included costs associated with them.
Tax

New CFF forensic accounting credential to be launched by AICPA in Fall

The governing Council of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has authorized the creation of a new CPA specialty credential in forensic accounting.The credential, Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF), will combine specialized forensic accounting expertise with the core knowledge and skills that make CPAs among the most trusted business advisors, according to Robert Harris, chair of the National Accreditation Commission.
A&A

Fraud 101: Small business at risk

FRAUD: 1. Intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right 2. The act of deceiving or misrepresenting. That's how Webster's Dictionary defines the word "fraud"Business fraud and abuse costs have reached $400 BILLION dollars a year. That equates to $9.00 per employee, per day. Pretty incredible isn't it! It appears that the work force today has become Ethically Challenged. Who's the most at risk? The answer, small businesses.Fraud is difficult and often impossible to prevent.
Tax

Wesley Snipes gets prison time for tax crimes

Saying Wesley Snipes showed "contempt," a Florida judge sentenced the actor to three years in prison for failing to file income tax returns."These are serious crimes, albeit misdemeanors, because he has a history of contempt over time," said U.S. District Court Judge William Terrell Hodges during Snipes's sentencing hearing in Ocala, FL Thursday.Hodges sentenced Snipes to the maximum sentence, one year for each misdemeanor count, to be served consecutively, Bloomberg reported.

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