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Bramwell’s Lunch Beat: Analyst: Clinton Foundation ‘Might Be PwC’s Enron’

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Jun 17th 2015
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EY fined for conflict of interest over Hellas
Huw Jones of Reuters wrote that Big Four accounting firm Ernst & Young (EY) was fined 250,000 pounds  ($390,850) by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) for failing to handle a conflict of interest properly at now defunct Hellas Telecommunications. Margaret Mills, an EY partner, was fined 15,000 pounds and received a severe reprimand, the ICAEW said. EY accepted to become the administrator of Hellas Telecommunications after it had been its accountant during the previous three years, a breach of the ICAEW's code of ethics aimed at stopping conflicts of interest. In a statement, EY said the breach of the code of ethics was “inadvertent” and the firm is taking steps to make sure this error is not repeated.

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Clinton Foundation ‘could Enron' PricewaterhouseCoopers
Jerome R. Corsi of WND.com wrote that a Wall Street analyst who has been investigating the Clinton Foundation's finances alleges the Big Four accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) was a willing participant in a scheme by the Clintons and their associates to become personally enriched by the foundation, a crime known as inurement. Charles Ortel, a frequent guest on Bloomberg Television and a contributor to the Washington Times, says in a draft report that he found “the PwC accounting work product for 2013 is riddled with uncorrected errors and falsehoods,” as well as procedural defects so severe he has raised the possibility “the Clinton Foundation might be PwC's Enron.” PwC has not replied to numerous requests from WND to comment. Ortel's analysis of PwC concentrates on the most recent IRS Form 990 filing by the Clinton Foundation, for calendar year 2013.

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Ryan aims to make corporate tax reform part of the election
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) said the current corporate tax structure in the United States is eroding the tax base and the United States ought to use its tax rate to compete for businesses, wrote James Willhite of the Wall Street Journal. Ryan also said on Tuesday that it is important for the business community to keep in mind the larger goals of tax reform and not get lost squabbling over details. “Don't fight for the little tiny table scraps, or the little carve out, or the little piece, or the exemption here, or the narrow benefit that might be good for your industry here,” he said during a Wall Street Journal conference. “Think of the broader goal of getting rates down.” Looking ahead, Ryan said he would like his congressional committee to be part of a public debate leading up to the next presidential election so that voters can know what they're getting.

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Paul Ryan eyes tax ‘extenders' legislation this fall
Ryan also said on Tuesday that he wants Congress to make some tax breaks permanent this fall, acting earlier than last year to extend provisions popular with businesses and individuals, wrote Peter Schroeder of MarketWatch. During the Wall Street Journal conference, Ryan said he has been having discussions with the US Treasury Department about so-called tax “extenders.” Late last year, Congress approved 50 of the tax breaks for businesses and individuals, but they lapsed at the end of 2014. This year, he wants to address them earlier. “We want to do this as early as possible in the fall,” Ryan said. “Look what happened last year: You had to wait until Dec. 11 to find out if these provisions were being extended.” Republicans have been pressing for the permanent extension of some of the tax breaks, including the research and development credit and the business-expensing credit.

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Jeffrey Tribiano named IRS deputy commissioner for operations support
The IRS announced on Tuesday that Jeffrey Tribiano, a top official at the US Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service and a commissioned officer in the Navy Reserve, has been named the next IRS deputy commissioner for operations support. Tribiano will begin his new role on June 29. He will be in charge of the IRS's key support and management functions, including the CFO, the Human Capital Office, and the Office of Planning, Programming, and Audit Coordination, among others. Tribiano currently serves as the associate administrator and COO at the Food and Nutrition Service, a position he has held since 2010. In this role, he directed the overall planning, formulation, and direction of the programs and activities related to administration, finance, IT, civil rights, program management, and program operations.

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