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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.
Tax

E-Passports Now Being Issued to Americans

The U.S. State Department has begun issuing e-passports. These passports have radio frequency identification (RFID) chips embedded in the rear cover of the document. AFP reports that all previously issued passports will remain valid until they expire.
Tax

Vishing & Other Personal Security Threats

We might be familiar with “phishing” or the obtaining of your personal information using an e-mail containing a hyperlink. The verbiage in the e-mail leads you to click the link in order to harvest your personal details via a false web site, according to MSNBC.com.
Tax

Prosecutors: Former Media Baron Lying about Finances

Indicted newspaper publisher Conrad Black enjoys a “free flow of millions of dollars," from his wife's private company, say federal prosecutors, who want Barbara Amiel-Black to reveal her finances under oath.Advertisement
Tax

Auditors Limited In Responding to Criminal Acts

Auditors sometimes find evidence of criminal or questionable acts in the course of their work.
Tax

Indianapolis Accounting Staffer Embezzled $350,000, City Claims

A former employee of the Indianapolis Parks Department is facing charges that she directed $350,000 in public money to her personal bank accounts.The accounting staffer, who was fired after allegedly admitting her crime to investigators, steered fake credit and debt card refunds to her own accounts, according to charging papers. Questionable transactions went back to 2000. The employee, Kenya Miles, faces charges of official misconduct, theft and fraud against a financial institution.
Tax

Is There a Problem Here? Privacy and Data Security in the Mobile CPA Firm

Look around your firm today. It seems like everyone is using a notebook computer, right? Not just audit teams, but partners, consultants, and accountants from all departments of the firm are carrying their computers with them as they travel out and about. With decreasing prices and increasing capabilities, today’s notebooks are in many cases the equal of most desktop machines. Included in that increased capacity are huge hard drives capable of storing enormous amounts of data.
Tax

Judge Approves $36M Settlement Balance in PNC Scandal

A federal judge in Pittsburgh has approved the last part of a settlement involving more than 73,000 shareholders who lost money in a PNC Financial Services Group Inc. accounting scandal.The shareholders are ready to receive about $2,600 each, for a total of $36.6 million, based on the $193 million settlement and interest. That amounts to 68 cents per share, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported. It's not clear when settlement money will be distributed, and the final amount will be reduced by attorneys' fees.The last remaining portion of the class-action lawsuit was approved by U.S.

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