‘Improper’ pressure heaped on ex-KPMG partners

Statements made by two former KPMG partners will not be allowed as evidence
at next year’s tax shelters trial, the judge hearing the case has ruled.

US district judge Lewis A. Kaplan ruled that US federal prosecutors used
excessive pressure to coerce the former partners into cooperating into the
government’s tax shelters investigations.

This follows Kaplan’s ruling in June that the government improperly pressured
KPMG to stop paying the legal bills of any workers accused of wrongdoing.

Kaplan said the government ‘brandished a big stick’ by threatening to indict
KPMG and then held out a ‘very large carrot’ by offering the firm the hope of
avoiding indictment if it could deliver ‘employees who would talk’.

The defendants, all former KPMG employees, are accused of developing illegal
tax shelters that allowed rich clients to dodge taxes.

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