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ANR: Ex-CFO of Philly Archiocese Ignored ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’; Putting a Face on Tax Preparer Regs; March Madness for n00bs | 03.14.12

S.E.C. Charges Three Former Mortgage Executives With Fraud [DealBook]
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed fraud charges on Tuesday against three former executives at Thornburg Mortgage, once the nation’s second-largest mortgage company after Countrywide Financial, saying that they hid the company’s deteriorating financial condition at the onset of the financial crisis in 2008. Thornburg, once a publicly traded company that focused on jumbo and super-jumbo adjustable rate mortgages, needed constant access to financing, which included money borrowed from various lenders.

Finance officer who stole from archdiocese surrenders [PI]
The former chief financial officer for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia used her credit cards for trips to the Caribbean, gifts, and cash advances to play the slots at the Borgata. And for six years, Anita Guzzardi used church money to pay for the spending spree, more than $900,000 in all, according to charges filed Tuesday. Among the destinations: the Atlantis at Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Guzzardi, 43, of Barrington, Camden County, surrendered to face charges from the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office of theft, forgery, and unlawful use of a computer. She takes responsibility for the theft, her lawyer said, and has paid back $150,000. […] The embezzlement wasn't detected by the archdiocese's internal auditor, or by its outside auditing firm, Pricewaterhouse Coopers. Ed Lovelidge, managing partner of the firm's Philadelphia office, declined to comment, saying the company had a policy of not discussing work for clients.
IRS to Mom and Pop: Drop Dead [Atlantic]
Katherine Mangu-Ward in reference to the picture above: "Look at this dude! He does his taxes at a table covered in a lace doily for crying out loud. In a sweater. Sure, he uses a typewriter. Sure, he probably makes mistakes. But–and this is the important thing–forcing this guy to spend a thousand bucks on continuing education and more on fees isn't likely to mean more accurate returns overall. For one thing, a bunch of his clients will probably go back to doing their taxes themselves rather than pay increased rates. For another, there's a long, sad, history, of bad advice being given out by the IRS itself, something its just as likely to do in those $50/hour seminars as it does on its free advice line. And for an unfair anecdotal third thing, H&R Block once filed all of my freelance journalism income as farm income."
Would a Higher Top Tax Rate Raise Revenues? [Economix/NYT]
Bruce Bartlett: "[T]here is another very good reason to raise taxes on the ultrawealthy: the government needs the revenue."
The 23 Rules of March Madness [WSJ]
For you n00bs. 
That weird urge to jump off a bridge, explained [MSNBC]
Busy season has nothing to do with it.


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