US: Former KPMG executives jailed for tax fraud
Date: 1 Apr 2009
Two former executives with accounting giant KPMG have been sent to jail for 8 and 10 years for their part in a billion dollar tax evasion scam. The judge said that the two had been heavily involved in a tax shelter that was well across the line into illegality.
The judge, sentencing John Larson and Robert Pfaff to jail, said that he had given heavy sentences to send a message to others tempted to go after the quick money.
The sentences bring to an end the long-running saga that, at one point, threatened to bring the firm down in an Arthur Andersen style collapse - a threat that was staved off by the firm signing a deal to avoid criminal prosecution. Cases against a number of other defendants were dismissed when the government was found to have unfairly blocked KPMG from paying their legal fees.
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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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