Watchdog

Tax

Did Al Franken pay the $70,000 back taxes he owes? He's not telling

With Congress in the hands of the Democrats, we're all still waiting a final count in the close Minnesota race for the U.S. Senate seat between incumbent Norm Coleman and his challenger, Al Franken. Franken is a comedian and political commentator who travels the country making speeches and earning speaker fees. Last spring as the Senate race started to heat up... so did the news that Franken had unpaid taxes in 17 states, plus other problems.
Tax

For Daschle, it was a short drive from tax problems to political oblivion

The story is becoming sadly familiar. On January 2, 2009 Tom Daschle rushed to file amended tax returns for 2005, 2006, and 2007, and pay $128,203 in unpaid taxes plus $11,964 in interest. There was no mention of penalties. Why the rush? The 61-year-old former U.S. Senator from South Dakota was nominated to fill a post in the Obama cabinet, as the head of Health and Human Services as well as a newly created post, the head of the White House Office on Health Reform.
Tax

As the bailout goose lays her golden eggs, who is guarding the henhouse?

"A billion here and a billion there and pretty soon you're talking about real money." That's a great line, attributed to the late Senator Everett Dirksen. But with the bailout of 2008 signed by President Bush and now the trillion dollar-plus rescue package that Democrats in Congress and Barack Obama are proposing, those billions are starting to look like chump change. It doesn't take a scholar to know... that's a lot of money. As a result, many financial professionals are bracing themselves for what history tells them will be the other fallout.
Tax

KPMG case study brings real-world forensic accounting to UNM

University of New Mexico students in Rutledge Professor of Accounting Richard G. Brody's forensic accounting class came face-to-face with the real world last night thanks to a case study presented by KPMG.The case is designed to provide an introduction to the forensic accounting process, challenging student teams to analyze evidence as part of an earnings management investigation.
Tax

Georgia Southern students can concentrate their studies in fraud and forensic accounting

By Anne RosivachDemand for courses in fraud and forensic accounting has been strong and is growing at colleges and universities throughout the country. Georgia Southern University is no exception, and The College of Business Administration's Center for Forensic Studies in Accounting and Business has taken the lead by offering two educational tracks in fraud and forensic accounting to students at both the undergraduate and graduate level.
Tax

Auditors and airport screeners have similar blind spots

But terrorists don't pay the screenersBy Gary D. Zeune, CPAEven though the items and information are right in front of them, airport screeners miss banned items, according to a December 30, 2005, article in The Wall Street Journal. Auditors miss fraud for the same reasons screeners miss weapons. To test terrorism readiness, British authorities digitally inserted images of guns, knives and other banned objects into luggage. Initially the screeners' performance was mediocre. But with practice it improved dramatically.
Tax

Prevalence of corporate fraud and misconduct is high according to KPMG survey

KPMG's 2008-2009 Integrity Survey, the third in a periodic series that began in 2000, published by KPMG Forensic, concludes that little has changed in the frequency and pattern of corporate fraud and misconduct over the years. The survey found however, that "Ethics and compliance programs continue to have a favorable impact on employee perceptions across the board.
Tax

Post-Madoff, forensic accountants seeing increase in business

Investigators say that the number of people trying to pull off low-level Ponzi schemes is increasing so quickly that they are now calling them "mini-Madoffs."And forensic accountants believe their skills will be even more valuable in this climate, as jilted investors are asking tough questions about where their money went. Business owners and governments are also being cautious, watching their funds with more scrutiny than ever.
Tax

Geithner sworn in as new Treasury Secretary

In a decisive vote of 60 to 34, members of the U.S. Senate chose to ignore disclosures that Timothy Geithner might have been guilty of cheating on his taxes for four years, and gave him the nod as the next Secretary of the Treasury.From 2001 to 2004, Geithner worked at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and received fees for services on which no Social Security and Medicare tax were withheld.
Tax

Did Obama's Treasury nominee, Tim Geithner, weave a tangled tax web?

Last November when then president-elect Barack Obama tapped Timothy Geithner to take the reins as Treasury Secretary, Geithner's confirmation seemed like a slam dunk. But that was before the Obama team started vetting the nominee to make sure there would be no surprises. Geithner has been hailed as a financial wizard after working in several Treasury positions under three different presidential administrations, nearly four years at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and most recently, as president of the New York Federal Reserve Board.
Tax

Castroneves takes back seat to Will Power while awaiting tax trial

In a press conference Tuesday, January 13, Tim Cindric, president of Penske Racing, announced that racecar driver Helio Castroneves will be replaced in the #3 Penske Indy Car by Aussie driver Will Power. Castroneves is awaiting his tax evasion trial, scheduled to begin March 2, 2009.According to Cindric, Power "will be stepping into the number three car for at least the first part of the 2009 testing while Helio's court case is being settled."Cindric stated, "We have three drivers for 2009," referring to Power, fellow Aussie driver Ryan Briscoe, and Castroneves.
Tax

A look back at famous tax cheaters of 2008

For tax cheaters, 2008 was not a good year. Celebrities, sports figures, and other famous people who underestimate the IRS may wish they could have a do-over for some of their previous activities.
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.

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