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Accounting News Roundup: Dems Discuss a More Palatable Millionaire Tax; IRS Gives Oakland Dispensary a Buzzkill; Again with the Tax Shelters, KPMG? | 10.05.11

U.S. and New York Sue BNY Mellon [WSJ]
Bank of New York Mellon Corp. was hit by a one-two legal punch that escalates a currency-trading crisis for one of the nation’s largest banks. The Justice Department and New York’s attorney general filed separate civil lawsuits alleging that the bank fraudulently charged clients for currency transactions. Filed within hours of each other late Tuesday, the suits allege that BNY Mellon defrauded or misled state and public pension funds, private companies, universities and banks in a decade-long scheme of overcharging for foreign exchange.

Democrats discuss tax on US millionaires [FT]
Democrats in the Senate have discussed a new tax on US millionaires to pay for at least part of $447bn in fresh economic stimulus measures pushed by the White House. According to a Democratic congressional aide, no final decisions were made on Tuesday on whether to present a new tax on the wealthiest citizens, and there were no estimates on how much money it was intended to raise.

Robbers Invade CEO’s Midtown Home [WSJ]
The armed thieves took more than $260,000 worth of cash, jewelry and other valuables in the Monday robbery at the home of George Bardwil, the CEO of Bardwil Industries, police said. Mr. Bardwil, 59 years old, was meeting with a business consultant and an accountant in his East 51st Street apartment when there was a knock on the door about 2:30 p.m. As Mr. Bardwil answered, two gunmen shoved their way inside and ordered the men to get to the ground. The attackers tied up the men and ordered them to keep their eyes closed and not look at them, according to a police official with knowledge of the matter. They then went into Mr. Bardwil’s bedroom, where they removed cash and jewelry from a safe.

For some of the rich, budget and tax battles bring worries — of paying too little [WaPo]
“It is going to be really bad for rich people,” said Charlie Fink, 51, a former AOL executive, imagining an American financial collapse that could wipe out his wealth. “It’s going to be [bad] for everybody. But most people are living close to the bone anyway. So they have less to lose.”

Oakland medical cannabis club owes IRS millions in back taxes [SVMN]
“They’re attempting to tax us out of business,” Harborside owner Steve DeAngelo said Tuesday by telephone. Ironically on the same day he received the IRS letter, DeAngelo was photographed handing the city treasury a check for $360,000. The payment was the third installment of $1 million in city-owed taxes generated by the dispensary in 2010. Oakland’s four dispensaries pay a 5 percent tax to Oakland on top of regular sales taxes that contributed about $2 million to California’s budget.

U.S. wins three tax cases involving big banks, KPMG [Reuters]
United States prosecutors said on Tuesday they had won three major cases against American clients of questionable tax shelters including ones used by a Dallas billionaire and Wells Fargo Co. and others designed by Citibank and accounting firm KPMG LLP. The separate cases, the verdicts of which were rendered last Friday, represent a significant victory for the US Justice Department, which was sued by each of the three clients when the Internal Revenue Service denied as improper their claimed deductions that totaled hundreds of millions of dollars.

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