Monday, March 6, 2006
Prosecutors aren't backing down from criminal charges filed against 19 defendants related to the sales of tax shelters by KPMG LLP. In a 173-page brief filed in federal court in Manhattan late Friday, attorneys for the government argued that motions by the defense to have the case thrown out should be denied. Last month, attorneys representing the 19 defendants -- 17 of whom are former KPMG tax professionals -- filed 28 briefs totaling 950 pages that accused prosecutors of "distorting" facts and called for the dismissal. Prosecutors argued that "volume of paper" submitted by the defendants' attorneys was part of an effort to "cloud" the issues.
The owner of the Golden State Warriors basketball team and a former U.S. ambassador to Ireland were among hundreds of investors who used improper tax shelters sold by the KPMG LLP accounting firm, court records show. Christopher Cohan, who owns the National Basketball Association's Warriors, and Richard Egan, the ex-ambassador and a co-founder of EMC Corp., were among 61 investors whose identities were unsealed last week in a class-action lawsuit against KPMG. They chose not to join a proposed $225 million settlement of the suit. Many are suing KPMG separately in order to win bigger individual settlements or damages.