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Billionaire’s accountant says he smuggled millions into France

November 21st, 2014 Comments off

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Dassault Rafale (Photo credit: Wikipedia/airwolfhound)

November 21, 2014

Accountant claims he smuggled 53 million euros into France on behalf of French industrialist and politician Serge Dassault.

French accountant Gérard Limat is being investigated for his involvement in money laundering, illegal campaign financing and vote buying that allegedly took place while his employer, French billionaire Serge Dassault, was mayer of the Paris suburb of Corbeil-Essonnes between 1995 and 2009. Dassault, 89, is the CEO of Dassault Aviation, a French fighter jet manufacturer. Dassault had been ousted from the mayorship back in 2009 for giving monetary gifts to voters.

Limat says he smuggled in 53 million euros ($66 million) from banks in Luxembourg and Switzerland by transferring funds to a Swiss asset management company, who would make the funds available again in France. A representative from the asset management firm would allegedly meet with Limat near Dassault’s Champs-Elysées office to hand over bags containing 100,000 to 700,000 euros.

Source: Vice News

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AICPA urges Senate to approve automatic disaster victim tax relief

November 19th, 2014 Comments off

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November 19, 2014

American Institute of CPAs representative asks U.S. Senators to endorse legislation that would give disaster victims permanent and timely tax relief.

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Tax Executive Committee chair Troy Lewis testified to the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight that the current tax relief system often distributes tax relief differently to disaster victims in similar situations. Lewis contends that Congress should no longer consider tax relief benefits on a case by case basis, but instead automatically grant tax relief the same moment a disaster has been declared.

“By having a trigger mechanism in place, Congress allows the IRS to promptly issue notice of the available relief to the public and enables the IRS to program its systems appropriately,” Lewis said. “Under the current system, individuals and small business owners do not know what tax relief they will receive until Congress enacts legislation, sometimes months or even years after the event. The uncertainty surrounding such delayed relief impedes recovery.”

Lewis listed a total of recommendations that the AICPA believes should be given to taxpayers in FEMA disaster areas. “A set of standard disaster tax relief provisions will minimize the administrative burdens on the victims as well as the IRS,” stated Lewis.

Source: Accounting Today

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Accountant paying city $75K for failure to uncover embezzlement

October 22nd, 2014 Comments off

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October 22, 2014

Accounting firm will pay city in North Carolina $75,000 for failing to discover over $500,000 in embezzlements.

Darrell Keller CPA of Kings Mountain, North Carolina has agreed to pay the town of Cherryville $75,000 in a settlement stemming from Keller’s failure to discover the embezzlement of over $500,000 by two former city employees. City finance director Bonny Alexander was convicted of stealing $435,000 over a six year period. Utility director Jennifer Hoyle has been accused of taking $92,000 in cash utility payments made by customers over four years. Keller has stated that the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing and just not as expensive as taking the case to trial.

Source: The Times Picayune

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Account embezzled $540,000 from U.S. Navy subcontractor

October 17th, 2014 Comments off

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(Photo credit: Wikipedia/Avjoska)

October 17, 2014

Accountant for a Louisiana based U.S. Navy subcontractor admits to embezzling $540,000 and could faces up to 50 years in prison and over $1M in fines.

Kim Parish of Picayune Mississippi pled guilty to multiple charges of bank fraud and wire fraud on Wednesday after she admitted to stealing over $540,000 from her employer. Ms. Parish forged signatures on hundreds of checks over a four year period and mislead the company’s payroll processing firm into writing her checks for false paid time off.

Parish’s employer, NOLA Computer Services, is a technology company and military subcontractor based in New Orleans. Because of the relationship, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and Naval Criminal Investigative Service played roles in prosecuting her case. Parish faces up to 30 years in prison and $1M in fines for the charges of bank fraud, and up to 20 years and $250,000 in fines for wire fraud.

Source: The Times Picayune

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‘The Accountant’ – Ben Affleck to star in new action-thriller

October 3rd, 2014 Comments off

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(Photo credit: Wikipedia/George)

October 3, 2014

Ben Affleck is set to star as the accountant who’s secret second job is as an assassin.

Warner Bros. announced yesterday that actor and director Ben Affleck is now in negotiations to act the leading role in an upcoming action-thriller called “The Accountant.” The starring role which portrays a secretive CPA who works is an accountant by day and an assassin by night and was at one point lined up for actor Will Smith. The original script, written by Bill DuBuque, has been passed around to numerous Hollywood studios for some time now, with directors Mel Gibson and the Coen Brothers both at one time being involved. Mr. Affleck has also been in entertainment news lately for his current roles as a suspected murderer Nick Dunne in “Gone Girl” and as the dark knight in “Batman v Superman.”

Source: LA Times

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Michigan flood victims to receive federal disaster tax relief

September 26th, 2014 Comments off

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(Image credit: Wikipedia/Averette)

September 26, 2014

Many Michigan residents might receive IRS disaster tax relief after several counties are declared federal disaster areas.

The President declared several storm stuck counties in Michigan as federal disaster areas yesterday, allowing the IRS to provide special disaster tax relief to victims of the storms and floods during Auguster. All residents and businesses in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties may qualify for the postponement of certain filing deadlines. Many other affected taxpayers will additionally be given the opportunity to claim disaster related casualty losses on federal income tax returns for either last year or this year.

All those affected who wish to claim disaster losses should input the Disaster Designation “Michigan/Severe Storms and Flooding” on the top of Form 4684. Affected residents or businesses located outside of the designated disaster area should contact the IRS disaster helpline to submit a request relief: 866-562-5227. As always, taxpayers should be advised to review any filings related to casualty losses with a tax professional.

Source: Detroit Free Press

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USA TODAY – Top 10 Colleges for Accounting Degrees

September 4th, 2014 Comments off

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(Photo credit: Wikipedia/Fernandes)
September 4, 2014

USA TODAY ranked the top 10 colleges for an accounting major based on research conducted by College Factual.

The majority of schools that made this year’s list are prestigious universities with established business schools. The list only considers undergraduate programs and students who only have a bachelor’s degree.

10. SUNY Binghamton — Vestal, New York
9.   Villanova University — Villanova, Pennsylvania
8.   New York University — New York, New York
7.   CUNY Bernard M. Baruch College — New York, New York
6.   Boston College — Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
5.   University of Southern California — Los Angeles, California
4.   University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign — Champaign, Illinois
3.   Bryant University — Smithfield, Rhode Island
2.   University of Notre Dame — Notre Dame, Indiana
1.   Bently University — Waltham, Massachusetts

Source: USA TODAY

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PwC Fined $25M For Concealing Client’s Sanctions Violations

August 22nd, 2014 Comments off

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August 22, 2014

Global accounting and audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers got slapped with fines and suspensions this week for improperly making edits in a report sent to New York’s top banking regulators on behalf of a foreign client.

International accounting and audit titan PricewaterhouseCoopers received a $25 million dollar fine from the New York Department of Financial Services earlier this week after being found guilty of inappropriately altering the language in a report submitted on the behalf of an international client. The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi had initially revealed the occurrence of wire transfers conducted with countries currently under U.S. economic sanctions, including Iran. After being pressured by the Japanese client, PwC edited language in their initial report so that the sanctions violations would be less noticeable to banking regulators.

“We are continuing to find examples of improper influence and misconduct in the bank consulting industry,” said Benjamin Lawsky, New York’s Superintendent of Financial Services, regarding the department’s ruling. PwC was also suspended from doing any consulting work for banks that are regulated by the department for a full two years.

In defense of his firm’s actions, PwC’s Miles Everson asserted that the report in question had both been “detailed” and “disclosed the relevant facts.” Everson also added that “PwC is proud of its long history of contributing to the safety and soundness of the financial system by serving as subject matter experts in banking regulatory and compliance matters and the firm is committed to improving continuously and meeting changes in regulatory expectations. This resolution reinforces that commitment.”

Source: USA Today Money

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New Mexico Accountant Pleads Guilty To Stealing $1.3 Million

August 19th, 2014 Comments off

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August 19, 2014

New Mexico accountant has pleaded guilty to defrauding the government of $1.3 million in unemployment benefits.

Jason Gonzales of Velarde, New Mexico pleaded guilty this week to stealing over a million dollars in state and federal unemployment benefits. Gonzales filed false claims under the names of unsuspecting individuals throughout New Mexico, Texas and Colorado. He then cashed numerous unemployment assistance debit cards after having received them in his post office mail box. The 41 year old accountant faces up to 120 years in prison on federal charges including identity theft and mail fraud.

Source: KRQE Albuquerque

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Accounting Is Most Profitable Industry In America

August 8th, 2014 Comments off

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August 8, 2014

Study by financial information company finds accounting industry the most profitable in America.

Sageworks, a financial data aggregator based in North Carolina, just released their findings on the most profitable industries in America. At the top of the list were businesses related to accounting, tax prep, bookkeeping, and payroll services with a 19.8% profit margin. The profit margin for a business is its profits divided by sales.

Other industries that made the top five were, in order: legal services, oil and gas, business machine rental and leasing, and dentist offices. Sageworks notes that businesses that buy few goods and provide specialized services continue to top their annual ranking.

Source: Chicago Tribune

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