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Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kevin Downing, DOJ's Lead Offshore Tax Fraud Prosecutor, Resigns

DOJ LogoBloomberg, Tax Division’s Downing Said to Resign From Justice Department:

Kevin Downing, the Justice Department prosecutor who directed the U.S. crackdown on offshore tax evasion, resigned effective June 4, according to a person familiar with the matter. Downing, 46, was the lead prosecutor in the U.S. probe of UBS, Switzerland’s largest bank. In 2009, UBS avoided prosecution by paying $780 million, admitting it helped thousands of Americans evade taxes and turning over the names of 250 American clients to U.S. authorities. UBS later revealed another 4,450 accounts.

Federal Tax Crimes, Kevin Downing Resigning:

Kevin Downing, an attorney in DOJ Tax CES, has been a key player in the DOJ offshore juggernaut since the John Doe Summons proceeding against UBS ... Before stirring up trouble in the offshore account arena, Mr. Downing stirred up trouble over the KPMG tax shelters in SDNY which is where I first encountered him.  He has been busy in his DOJ Tax CES career.  I'll just say that I encountered Mr. Downing in the KPMG individual defendant criminal prosecution.  I observed that he is a zealous advocate and true believer in the righteousness of his cause.  At least in the KPMG matter, as the court ultimately held, the ends sought by the prosecution team on which Mr. Downing served did not justify the means the team chose to achieve the ends.  United States v. Stein, 541 F.3d 130 (2d Cir. 2008).

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Rich white guys avoiding prosecution by buying off the government with shareholder money.

And do we wonder why people on both sides of the political spectrum are cynical?

Posted by: save_the_rustbelt | May 31, 2012 9:21:55 AM

from the summary of Stein: We affirm the district court's ruling that the government deprived Defendants-Appellees of their right to counsel under the Sixth Amendment by causing KPMG to place conditions on the advancement of legal fees to Defendants-Appellees, and to cap the fees and ultimately end them. Because the government failed to cure the Sixth Amendment violation, and because no other remedy will return Defendants-Appellees to the status quo ante, we affirm the dismissal of the indictment.

Coupled with the result of the prosecution of Senator Ted Stevens, DOJ needs to couple its righteous zeal with more respect for the law.

Too much of Roper (following from Wikipedia description of Man For All Seasons):

At one point More's future son-in-law, Roper, urges him to arrest Richard Rich, whose perjury will eventually lead to More's execution. More answers that Rich has broken no law, "And go he should if he were the Devil himself until he broke the law!" Roper is appalled at the idea of granting the Devil the benefit of law, but More is adamant.

"What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ... And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you – where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's, and if you cut them down -- and you're just the man to do it -- do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!"

Posted by: daniel | May 31, 2012 11:16:17 AM

The UBS whistleblower started the investigations, not Downing or anybody else at DOJ. The DOJ was clueless and had no investigation whatsoever into UBS before the whistleblower, Bradley Birkenfeld, voluntarily initiated contact with the DOJ and came in and gave them the keys to the kingdom. In fact, each and every material fact contained within the John Doe Summons came from Bradley Birkenfeld. These facts were lifted by IRS "investigators" McDougal and Reaves, and falsely presented by them as the byproduct of their own "investigative work". Typical government hacks.

Posted by: Dave | May 31, 2012 5:05:40 PM