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Accounting News Roundup: The Ghost of Tom Petters; PwC’s Latest Conquest; The Best Compliance | 09.19.14

Alibaba's IPO Priced at $68 a Share [WSJ]
China's middle class is HOT

James Hansmann, 86-year-old accountant from Agawam, permanently barred from preparing tax returns, must pay nearly $500k in federal embezzlement case [Masslive]
It's cool, he was ready to retire anyway.

Richmond Fed President Jeffrey M. Lacker Comments on Policy Normalization Principles and Plans [Richmond Fed]
Dissent is sexy: "I cannot support the Committee’s planned approach to moving the Fed’s balance sheet toward its normal state, however. In particular, the statement says that the Committee currently does not anticipate selling agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS). I believe this approach unnecessarily prolongs our interference in the allocation of credit. The Fed’s MBS holdings may put downward pressure on mortgage rates, compared to holding an equivalent amount of Treasury securities, but if so, then other borrowers would likely face higher interest rates. While this would favor home mortgage borrowers, it tilts the playing field against other borrowing by consumers."

IRS Launches Promoter Audits Of Captive Managers Suspected Of Abusive Practices [Forbes]
The scoop: "We have now discovered that in 2013 the IRS finally launched its long-anticipated investigation of certain managers of smallish insurance companies. This has finally culminated in the IRS issuing notices this year that it is conducting so-called “promoter audits” of these manager, and serving subpoenas that request a broad swath of information regarding these captives."

The first guy to buy a new iPhone 6 in Perth, Australia dropped it on live TV [News9]

BMO Harris Faces $24 Billion Lawsuit Tied to Petters Fraud [WSJ]
Still on this, are we? "A new lawsuit seeks to hold M&I Bank, now owned by BMO Harris Bank, responsible for allegedly enabling Minnesota businessman Tom Petters to orchestrate a Ponzi scheme that cheated investors out of several billion dollars. Filed in a Florida bankruptcy court, the lawsuit seeks to recover nearly $24 billion from Chicago-based BMO Harris, which acquired M&I in 2011. The lawsuit says that Mr. Petters "did not act alone" in carrying out the massive fraud that was exposed in 2008 and for which he is now serving a 50-year prison sentence."

Peyton Manning is enjoying legal pot [SI]
“There’s some different laws out here in Colorado,” Manning said. “Pizza business is pretty good out here, believe it or not, due to some recent law changes. So when you come to a different place, you’ve kind of got to learn everything that comes with it.”

PwC accounting firm plans 50-person DM office within two years [Business Record]
DM = Des Moines

BNP Paribas hires ex-U.S.Treasury official for compliance after sanctions fine [Reuters]
That's one way to do it…

Lawyer Accused of Photoshopping Herself Into Photos With Celebrities [Gawker]
Take note, folks, that this might fall under acts discreditable to the profession.