Saturday, February 2, 2008

Russia and Stoneridge

"A Russian court upheld a ruling that PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP [PWC] essentially was a participant in massive tax evasion by former oil giant OAO Yukos. ... Yesterday, Russia's Ninth Arbitration Appellate Court abruptly ended consideration of [PWC's] appeal of a lower-court ruling. ... Prosecutors and [PWC] attorneys have said the ruling implies the auditor was a participant in the oil company's tax evasion. ... A [PWC] spokewoman said the decision was 'strange and incomprehensible,' adding that [PWC's] lawyers are considering possible implications and paths for further appeal", WSJ, 29 January 2008.

Wow, Russian courts apply Anglo-Saxon common-law conspiracy concepts to CPAs, unlike our Supremes in Stoneridge. If PWC's attorneys can get the Roberts' court to hear further appeals in this case as opposed to Russia's courts, they will have an excellent chance of having the adverse ruling reversed. A PWC spokeswoman's finding "the decision ... 'strange and incomprehensible'," is easily explained: PWC thought Russia's appellate judges were as plutocrat-controlled as Roberts & Co.

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