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Accounting News Roundup: A Deal on the Back of AMT?; Larry Flynt Makes an Offer; Diluted Audit Reforms | 09.10.12

U.S. Plans $18 Billion Sale of AIG Stock [WSJ]
The Treasury Department said it would sell $18 billion of American International Group Inc. stock in a public offering, slashing its stake by more than half and making the government a minority shareholder for the first time since the financial crisis was roaring in September 2008. The sale will mark a step that seemed hard to imagine four years ago, when the New York insurer was effectively nationalized as part of a controversial financial-industry bailout. The U.S. will move closer to recognizing a profit on its largest rescue, which included as much as $182 billion of committed aid, and AIG will revert to being mostly nongovernment-owned, fulfilling a priority of Chief Executive Robert Benmosche.

Deal to Avert U.S. Fiscal Cliff Could Start With Alternative Minimum Tax [BBW]
An expansion in the reach of the alternative minimum tax is the element of the U.S. fiscal cliff with the largest immediate effect on taxpayers and the most bipartisan appetite for a solution, creating the possibility that lawmakers could use it to propel Congress toward a deal. If Congress doesn’t act to prevent the $92 billion tax increase, the number of households facing the alternative tax would increase to 32.9 million from 4.4 million, according to the Internal Revenue Service. That’s an average unanticipated tax increase of about $2,800.

Hustler magazine offers $1 million for a different type of exposure [CNN via TaxProf]
It is taking out full-page advertisements in two newspapers – The Washington Post on Sunday, and USA Today on Tuesday – "offering up to a million dollars in cash for documented evidence concerning Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney's unreleased tax returns and/or details of his offshore assets, bank accounts and business partnerships," a press release from the magazine read. – UPDATE: Although you shouldn't start counting the money – leaking the confidential return information is illegal, reports Joe Kristan and Kelly Phillips Erb also notes that it's a crime to accept stolen property – if someone were to, ya know, try something daring.
European audit reforms watered down [Accountancy Age]

The EC tabled proposals that would require companies to change their auditor every six years, and introduce caps on market share that would force the Big Four accountancy firms – PwC, Ernst & Young, KPMG and Deloitte – to split the provision of audit and non-audit services. Karim's report, published on the assembly's website last week, said that auditor rotation should only have to take place every 25 years, while share caps should be scrapped entirely.
Newly-Formed Group Aims to Increase Diversity in Accounting Profession [AICPA]
The AICPA has announced the creation of the National Commission on Diversity to serve as champions of diversity within the accounting profession. The formation of the Commission reflects a renewed focus on diversity within the profession and the need to increase the retention and advancement of underrepresented minorities to better reflect the clients and communities CPAs serve.

Miami accountant sentenced to 7 years in federal prison for Ponzi scheme [MH]

Prosecutors said Juan Carlos Rodriguez bilked $1.9 million from about 50 victims until his investment scam unraveled in fall 2010.

Teaching Accounting Ethics: Not as Easy as Following the Text [GOA]
Wait, real life doesn't have an answer key?

Robber gets trapped inside Citizens Bank [WTAE]
A suspected bank robber was arrested and taken to a hospital Thursday morning after getting trapped and finding himself unable to leave the building in Lawrenceville. Channel 4 Action News' Bob Mayo reported that the man got stuck between the double glass doors at Citizens Bank on Butler Street when an employee hit a switch to activate that built-in safety measure shortly after 9 a.m. "I always get annoyed by these double doors, because they're just frustrating," said Cynthia Horn, of Lawrenceville. "But now I see the point, so that's pretty cool."