Watchdog

Tax

Celebrities Treasures Tarnished: IRS Taxes Gifts & Goodie Bags

Oscar presenters this year each walked off with over $35,000 worth of gifts in their goodie bags, including four nights at Honolulu's Halekulani Resort, with a 24-hour butler valued at $25,000. What’s in your goodie bag? The new Sierra Leone Fund, launched on September 10th in Washington, DC with a gala celebrity fundraiser. Their goodie bags for folks like Angelina Jolie, Kanye West, and Isaiah Washington, included t-shirts, sarongs and other clothing items to jewelry, high-tech gifts, accessories and more.
A&A

Few Firms Have a Regulatory Response Team Despite Anti-fraud Programs

In the heightened regulatory environment of the post-Enron business world, a majority of companies have instituted formal anti-fraud programs and controls, according to an online poll released earlier this month by Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP (Deloitte FAS).
Tax

Largest Accounting Firms See Coming Revolution in Business Reporting

As part of the Global Public Policy Symposium in Paris, held on November 8 and attended by key players concerned with ensuring the quality and reliability of financial reporting worldwide, the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) International, Grant Thornton International, Deloitte, KPMG International and Ernst & Young, published a joint statement of their vision of what the future might hold for financial reporting and the accounting profession.
Tax

Churches Adopt Business Management Methods

Megachurches with memberships in the thousands and budgets in the millions are hiring more staff and consultants with business experience as they look to implement corporate management and accounting methods for their congregations.Advertisement
Tax

Corporate America Fighting Back Against Lawsuits, Regulations

Two influential industry groups are developing proposals that would make it more difficult for investors to file civil suits against companies and accounting firms, while also strengthening protections from criminal cases brought by government prosecutors.The groups, which have close ties to the Bush administration, hope to limit the liability of accounting firms for the work they do for clients so that individuals are targeted for wrongdoing, not entire companies, the New York Times reported.One of the groups drafting proposals is the U.S.
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.
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.
Tax

Avoid Using “Accounting Gimmicks”

Warren Buffett, the second richest man in America after Bill Gates, told his senior managers at Berkshire Hathaway Inc. in a memo published by FT.com, to resist the temptation to use “accounting gimmicks” to manipulate earnings, Bloomberg.com says. “Every time you hear the phrase ‘Everybody else is doing it’, it should raise a huge red flag,” Buffet wrote.
A&A

Mobile Security Market: Preparing for Dynamic Growth

A new study found that an increasing market for mobile security products, including anti-virus, virtual private networks (VPN), data and file encryption and mobile identity management applications, is expected to reach almost $5 billion, installed in 247 million phones by 2011. Juniper Research, specialists in providing quality analytical research reports and consultancy services to the telecom industry, gathered information from some of the fastest growing mobile security providers to gain insight into the current and future market.
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).
Technology

Sony Will Recall Batteries; CPSC Offers Tips for Safe Notebook Use

Toshiba Corp. announced on Friday that it would recall 830,000 batteries manufactured by Sony in response to a statement by Sony that it would initiate a global recall of all its battery packs, PC Magazine reports. This followed Thursday’s announcement by IBM and Lenovo Group that they will recall 526,000 rechargeable lithium-ion Sony batteries purchased with ThinkPad computers.
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

U.S. Airports Ease Carry-on Liquid Ban

Beginning today, airline passengers may carry travel-size toiletries through security. Passengers may also carry-on beverages and other liquid items purchased in the secure boarding area, according to new rules issued Monday by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The revised rules apply to all domestic and international flights departing U.S. airports.In order to pass through security, travel-sized toiletries of 3 ounces or less must be fit comfortably in a single clear zip-top bag, no larger than 7.5 inches tall, by 8 inches wide (quart-size).
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.
Tax

Cell Phones: Convenience and Compromise

Cell phones have become a part of modern life. Children in elementary school carry them. So do business people. Even seniors, who are often labeled a techno-phobic group, carry them.
Tax

SEC Takes Emergency Action to Stop Ongoing Fraud Against Seniors

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed an emergency enforcement action to halt an ongoing fraudulent offering of stock in a company called One Wall Street, Inc., in which five defendants have obtained and misappropriated more than $1.6 million from at least 64 investors, most of them senior citizens.Advertisement
Tax

Mellon Bank & IRS Settle for 2001 Crime

Mellon Bank has agreed to reimburse the federal government $30,000 as a result of an April 2001 incident at the Pittsburgh Internal Revenue Service (IRS) processing unit at the bank’s Client Service Center when the unit’s employees destroyed federal tax returns, according to MarketWatch.

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