Thursday, March 19, 2009
The DOJ Got One!
"A former senior tax partner at the accounting firm BDO Seidman pleaded guilty on Friday to criminal charges stemming from a bogus tax shelter plan that allowed wealthy investors to evade more than $200 million in taxes. The plea by the former partner, Michael Kerkes, who worked at BDO's office in Los Angeles and was employed by the firm until last year, is a victory for federal prosecutors in their broad investigation into the banks, accounting firms and law firms suspected of making and selling illegal tax shelters. ... Prosecutors said Friday in court papers that Mr. Kerkes worked with others in BDO Seidman's Tax Solutions Group, which later had different names, from 1998 to 2003, to design, market and carry out two types of fraudulent tax shelters. One shelter was known as the 'short sale' transaction, and the other as the short options strategy, or SOS. The latter was at the center of a related inquiry into a former KPMG partner, David Greenberg, who was acquitted in December of charges related to his work with SOS shelters", Lynnley Browning at the NYT, 14 February 2009, link: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/14/business/14tax.html.
I am familiar with the SOS strategy having seen in Los Angeles in 1999. I was amazed any CPA could peddle it since I saw it as lacking economic susbstance.