Friday, August 27, 2010

Court of Appeals upholds conviction in tax shelter case

The conviction of ex-KPMG LLP senior manager John Larson was upheld by a U.S. appeals court, which confirmed that the prosecution’s evidence supported the finding that tax shelters sold by Larson were “marketed solely as tax evasion schemes.”

This ruling follows from the U.S.’s initial accusation of 17 ex-KPMG executives and two others of selling shelters that cost the treasury $2 billion in lost revenue. The judge in that 2007 case dismissed charges against all but four defendants and assigned Larson a $6 million-dollar fine. The most recent decision of the appeals court has ordered that this fine be recalculated as $3 million, the legal limit given that Larson’s calculation of harm and loss was made without a jury finding.

Larson has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. In 2007, KPMG paid a $456 million fine for its sale of illegal tax shelters, and charges against it were dismissed.