Most Defendants in KPMG Case Escape Prosecution–At Least For Now
As we have written about previously, abusive and fraudulent tax shelters promoted by accounting firms are high on the list of conduct that the IRS (and IRS tax whistleblowers) seek to stop. Today, the government’s prosecution of 13 former KPMG partners and other executives was derailed–at least for now–when the trial judge dismissed charges against them, while allowing the charges to remain against other defendants.
Judge Lewis Kaplan had already ruled that these defendants’ constitutional rights had been violated when the government pressured KPMG not to advance the legal fees and expenses of the defendants.
With that prior ruling, the government agreed that the Court should dismiss the charges against these 13 defendants. The government now may attempt to upset the judge’s ruling on appeal, or perhaps try to bring other charges against these defendants.
As former prosecutors, we have followed the separate indictment of four Ernst & Young partners for tax fraud conspiracy and other federal criminal charges relating to tax shelters.
We believe that tax fraud, tax evasion, and other violations of IRS laws, rules and regulations can be battled effectively–in criminal cases or civil ones, whether or not whistleblowers are involved– within our Constitution’s protections. It will be interesting to see if the ruling in the case of the former KPMG executives, is appealed and stands.
The case is pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, UNITED STATES v. JEFFREY STEIN, et al., S1 05 Crim. 0888 (LAK)..