Accounting News Roundup: Insider Trading Ups and Downs; Moral Tax Arguments; The Perfect Answer for a Public Accounting Interview | 06.02.14

Insider-Trading Probe Hits Snag [WSJ]
Just when things were about to get interesting: "A snag has hit the insider-trading investigation of investor Carl Icahn, golfer Phil Mickelson and sports bettor William "Billy" Walters: News of the probe derailed government efforts to secretly deploy wiretaps, which have been key components of many successful insider-trading cases." Phil's not sweating it: "On Saturday, speaking to reporters after the third round of a tournament in Ohio, Mr. Mickelson said he has done 'absolutely nothing wrong.' The famous golfer said he was 'fully cooperating with the FBI agents' and wouldn't let the probe distract him from golf."

Bryan Shaw sentencing watch [Attestation Update]
Speaking of insider trading, Bryan Shaw, ex-golfing buddy of Scott London, is scheduled to be sentenced today: "The federal PACER system does not show any updates as of the evening of 6/1 that would change the scheduled sentencing of Bryan Shaw on 6/2 for conspiracy for his insider trading based on information provided by former KPMG partner Scott London. Scheduled for 8:00 a.m. on June 2."

Tax moralism and moral panics [Tax Update]
Joe Kristan blogs on the problem with moral arguments in tax debates: "If you move away from the law, to a system of “morality” in paying taxes, you lose your way.  Who decides what is moral?  Politicians?  Don’t make me laugh.  It’s hard enough to follow the law, given its ridiculous complexity.  If you then require taxpayers to meet subjective standards of whatever pressure group feels like calling a press conference that day, you make taxes pretty much impossible."

Study Examines Efficacy of Taxes on Sugary Drinks [NYT]
I suppose if you consider how much soda gets consumed in this country, this a considerable difference: "The study, financed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which has long advocated taxing sodas and other sugary drinks as part of its efforts to reduce childhood obesity, found that consumption of calories in drinks would drop 9.3 percent if a tax of four-hundredths of a penny for every calorie was added to the price, but fall by just 8.6 percent under a tax of half a cent for each ounce in a can or bottle." 

Former band teacher finds niche in public accounting [NewsOK]
In case you're ever asked, "What do you do when you don’t know the answer to something?” let Jim Denton's story serve as a guide: "Denton showed up unannounced at John Arledge’s accounting firm and, perhaps because he dropped the name of a church friend who was Arledge’s banker, was granted an impromptu interview with the owner. 'If I don’t know something, I go to the master tax guide and look it up,' Denton replied. 'That’s just what I wanted to hear!' boomed Arledge, who gave Denton his chance."

PwC partners under fire for private property investment club [Dutch News]
Dudes are just trying to plan for the future! "
Eleven partners at the Dutch arm of accountancy group PwC have set up a property investment partnership to the tune of €4.5m, the Telegraaf reports on Saturday. PwC has confirmed the report but says ‘partnerships within partnerships’ are undesirable and that it will pressure partners, including two members of the management board, to sell their interests next week, the Telegraaf says. […] The managers say they will use the income from their investment to build up a pension because investing in shares is ‘virtually impossible’. Investing in shares leads to a conflict of interest and so partners opt for long-term, stable investments, a PwC spokesman told news agency ANP."

Complaint: Cook Licked Sandwices, Served Officers [AP]
It doesn't sound as though Yolanda Arguello liked anyone at South Valley New Mexico Women's Recovery Academy, where she worked: "According to a criminal complaint, witnesses told investigators that the 59-year-old would take a piece of cheese, lick it and put it on sandwiches at the academy. Another witness told authorities Arguello was seen sucking on an ice cube and putting it back into a cup before handing it to a staff member. She is charged with three counts of battery on a peace officer."

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