US: Governments seeks to revise criminal tax shelter case against former KPMG partners
Date: 25 Mar 2008
The US government has appealed against the verdict of the court that it had violated the rights of former KPMG partners when it allegedly pressurised the company to refrain from paying its former partners' legal fees, as part of an attempt to reinstitute the criminal case against them.
At the time, KPMG had been seeking to avoid indictment in the case, fearing that such an eventuality might lead it to similar catastrophic consequences as befell the ill-fated Arthur Andersen. As a result, the company agreed to co-operate with the government's investigation, and subsequently refused to follow its standard custom and practice of paying legal fees for partners so as to avoid the impression of defending guilty parties.
In a former ruling, a US District Judge ruled pressure from the government on the company over the matter was unconstitutional because it interfered with the defendants' right to representation by a lawyer of their choosing.
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In a recent article, the BBC's economics editor Robert Peston highlighted the fact that in 2012 the chances are that the economy - punch drunk as it is from the various flavours of debt crisis it has been pummelled with over the course of the year - will be hit by the collapse of a major bank and / or government.
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