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Accounting News Roundup: Billionaire Tax Problems; EY CEO Parties It Up; Accounting Issues Crash Hertz | 06.06.14

BofA in Talks to Pay At Least $12 Billion to Settle Probes [WSJ]
The DOJ would to double the Federal Housing Financing Authority's fine from last year: "Bank of America Corp. is in talks to pay at least $12 billion to settle civil probes by the Justice Department and a number of states into the bank's alleged handling of shoddy mortgages, an amount that could raise the government tab for the bank's precrisis conduct to more than $18 billion, according to people familiar with the negotiations."

BNP Executive Firings Sought by Top New York Bank Regulator Amid Probe [Bloomberg]
In addition to the $10 billion fine: "New York’s top banking regulator, Benjamin Lawsky, is pressing BNP Paribas SA (BNP) to dismiss one of its top executives as part of settlement negotiations with the U.S. over alleged sanctions violations, according to a person familiar with the matter. Lawsky wants the bank to remove Chief Operating Officer Georges Chodron de Courcel, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. Lawsky is also seeking the departure of another senior executive and about 12 other bank employees, the person added. Chodron de Courcel and the others haven’t been accused of wrongdoing."

Heirs To The Samsung Family Fortune Owe $6 Billion In Taxes [Reuters]
Lee Kun-hee's heirs are going to bite the bullet to keep control over their father's company: "By some calculations, Lee's 45-year-old son Jay Y. Lee, the group's presumed heir apparent, and his two sisters could be on the hook for about $6 billion in tax under South Korea's top level inheritance tax rate of 50 percent. To put that in perspective, the United States expects to collect just $16 billion this year in estate and gift taxes – a levy that has long been a political bone of contention and which many rich Americans go to great lengths to minimize. However, attempts by the Lee family to ease its tax burden could weaken its control over an empire it now runs through a complex structure of interlocking ownership – and risk stirring up public condemnation."

Conflict-Metals Disclosures Reveal North Korean Surprise [CFOJ (Sub)]
There's gold in them thar communist hills: "Dozens of firms found an unwelcome surprise in their supply chains beyond a connection to mines controlled by armed groups in the Congo region, which the “conflict minerals” disclosures were designed to ferret out. A number of companies, including International Business Machines Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co., learned that many of their products contain North Korean gold."

Mark Weinberger skips the selfie at the WEOY celebration:

Animal abuse:

Ernst & Young names new managing partner for Milwaukee [MJS]
David Gay succeeds Keith Burns.

Senate Finance restarts tax reform debate [The Hill]
Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) are really serious about it this time, you guys.

Hertz to restate results over accounting issues [MW]
FTW, internal auditors. "Hertz, citing the results of an internal audit, said its results for 2011, most recently included in its annual 10-K filing for 2013, 'should no longer be relied upon,' and that the company must restate them. To further reflect those errors, the company must correct its 2012 and 2013 financial statements, Hertz said in a regulatory filing. The results for those years may also be restated if further adjustments are determined to be material. The company also said it is reviewing if the issues have had any impact on 2014's results."

LEGO Figures Make Perfect Cable Holders [Lifehacker]
Their little hands! They make for good business cards, too (but only if you work there).

Posted in ANR