Accounting News Roundup: Woodford, Olympus Settle; Norquist Defends Taxpayer Pledge; Stopping Tax Refund Fruad | 05.30.12

Olympus, Ex-CEO Reach Settlement [WSJ]
Olympus Corp. has agreed with former Chief Executive Michael Woodford on a settlement in his lawsuit against the company for unfair dismissal, ending a monthslong dispute with the ousted U.K. whistleblower who helped expose a $1.5 billion loss-hiding scandal at the Japanese camera maker. Both the company and Mr. Woodford confirmed Wednesday that they have reached an agreement, and the settlement is expected to be finalized pending approval from the Olympus board of directors. A person familiar with the matter said that Olympus is likely to pay about £10 million ($15.6 million) to Mr. Woodford for the settlement. "At some point, you have to draw the line and move on," Mr. Woodford said in a telephone interview. "I wish (the company) well."

BofA Whistle-Blower Receives $14.5 Million, Lawyer Says [Bloomberg]
A former Countrywide Financial Corp. manager whose fraud suit contributed to the mortgage industry’s $25 billion settlement with federal and state regulators received about $14.5 million for his efforts, his lawyers said. Kyle Lagow, an appraisal manager for Countrywide from 2004 to 2008, claimed that Countrywide inflated the value of homes to support bigger loans, according to a statement today from Seattle-based law firm Hagens Berman. Charlotte, North Carolina- based Bank of America Corp. (BAC) bought Countrywide in 2008 to save it from collapse as defaults on home loans soared.

Grover Norquist Hits Back Against 'Washington Post' Article Questioning Anti-Tax Pledge [Reuters]
The Washington Post ran a story on May 25 reporting that "an increasing number of GOP (Republican) candidates for Congress are declining to sign the promise to oppose any tax increase, a small sign that could signal a big shift in Republican politics on taxes." Speaking at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, Norquist criticized the article. "We're doing as well this year as in previous years" in terms of recruiting pledge signers, he said. "This idea that there's some shift. That's not accurate."

Why the SEC's 'Neither-Admit-Nor-Deny' Settlement Criteria is Seriously Flawed: Two Clear Examples [AO]
Tom Selling takes on "NANDy."
 
Billions in Tax Refund Fraud–and How to Stop Most of it [TaxVox]
The ideal solution would be for the IRS to be able to match W-2 information with tax returns before processing a refund, but W-2’s are not due until the end of March (if filed electronically, February otherwise) and they go to the Social Security Administration (SSA) rather than IRS, which further delays availability of information to the IRS.  If W-2’s were required to be transmitted to the SSA at the same time they were sent to workers and if SSA and IRS computers could talk to each other in real time, most of the refund fraud would be impossible. 
 
New Jersey man stabbed himself, threw skin and intestines at cops: authorities [AP]
You probably thought things couldn't get more morbid than Miami Zombie.

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