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ANR: Madoff Feeder Fund Drops Lawsuist Against E&Y; Buffett’s NetJets Has Tax Dispute; PwC’s New Rochester Boss | 03.27.12

Madoff Feeder Fund’s Liquidators Drop Ernst & Young Lawsuit [Bloomberg]
The liquidators of M-Invest Ltd., a so-called feeder fund for Bernard Madoff’s bankrupt investment firm, dropped a lawsuit accusing Ernst & Young LLP of negligence, malpractice and breach of contract. The liquidators said in documents filed in New York State Supreme Court in December that they were suing the New York- based accounting firm over audits of M-Invest’s annual financial statements from 2003 to 2007 and seeking $900 million in damages. Ernst & Young said the suit was without merit. The plaintiffs discontinued the action, according to a court document filed March 23. No reason was given. Scott M. Berman, an attorney for the liquidators, and Charlie Perkins, a spokesman for Ernst & Young, declined to comment on the filing in a telephone interview.

Netflix Drops KPMG, Picks Up E&Y as Auditor [CFOJ (Subscription)]
Online video rental company Netflix dropped longtime auditor KPMG and switched to Ernst & Young. The move, announced in an SEC filing on Friday, gives Netflix a new auditor at a time when the company is pushing to expand its international operations and working to overcome the fallout from a series of customer-relations missteps last year.

Private Jets, Buffett and Taxes [DealBook]
The United States government, in a little-followed case in Ohio, filed a lawsuit this month against a unit of Mr. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, seeking $366 million in taxes and penalties. The Berkshire division at the center of the suit is NetJets, the private-aircraft company that caters to the nation’s wealthiest — the people Mr. Buffett says should pay more in taxes. It is an odd twist that a company controlled by Mr. Buffett — perhaps the most outspoken businessman in the country in support of raising taxes on the “mega-rich” — is now in a dispute with the government over his company’s paying too little in taxes.

IRS waives fines for farmers missing MF Global tax info [Reuters]
Tax officials will not penalize farmers who could not properly file their taxes because they had accounts at bankrupt broker MF Global. The Internal Revenue Service said in a press release on Friday it would waive fines for farmers who underpaid their taxes because they did not receive forms reflecting profits and losses in MF Global accounts before a March 1 deadline. 

Senate Agrees to Debate Bill to End Oil Tax Breaks [AT]
The Senate voted Monday evening to allow debate on a bill introduced by Senator Robert Menendez, D-N.J. The Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act would end taxpayer-funded tax breaks for the five largest, most profitable oil companies in the world and use those savings to extend expiring energy tax provisions for one year and reduce the deficit. “This debate is pretty simple,” said Menendez. “It’s about whose side you’re on.  You’re either on the side of Big Oil companies making record profits, or you’re on the side of middle class American families who can’t afford the price at the pump—let alone afford to chip in billions of dollars more to make oil profits even higher. We know whose side Big Oil is on when they take $24 billion in taxpayer money and actually produce less oil, not more, leaving families with higher gas prices while they continue to make record profits.”

Mandatory Auditor Rotation — The PCAOB Bites Off More Than It Can Chew [Re:Balance]
Jim Peterson thinks there might be a compromise in the air.

Hospitality exec’s letter: Employee's gambling to blame for missing money [The State, Earlier]
A handwritten letter penned by a prominent hospitality executive before he killed himself blames his organization’s former accountant for transferring the group’s money through her personal checking account to offshore accounts to pay for online gambling. The three-page letter, obtained by The State newspaper and verified by law enforcement officials, says that Rachel Duncan, the S.C. Hospitality Association’s former director of finance and membership records, confessed to her boss, Tom Sponseller, the association’s chief executive officer, who wrote the letter. “Rachel has worked here for 11 years and at no time would I have thought that she gambled, let alone would steal money,” Sponseller wrote.

PwC Appoints Matt Parrilli as Managing Partner of the Rochester Office [PwC]
Replacing Ed Kay.
Why room-temperature coffee tastes so bad [MSNBC]
Reasoning beyond, "because it's gross."
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