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May 31, 2009

Former BDO Seidman partners charged with tax fraud conspiracy

Two former BDO Seidman partners, including
a former chief executive, have been charged with tax fraud
conspiracy and related crimes arising out of tax shelters.

Denis Field, a former chief executive chairman
of the board of the US firm, is also former head of the firm’s
national tax practice, and one of three heads of the firm’s tax
solutions group, which handled all aspects of the tax shelter
practice.

Robert Greisman was a tax partner in BDO
Seidman’s Chicago office and a member of the tax solutions
group.

The two were named, along with three former
shareholders of a law firm and two former bankers, in an indictment
filed in Manhattan Federal Court that alleged they designed,
marketed and implemented fraudulent tax shelters used by wealthy
individuals with multimillion-dollar taxable income in order to
eliminate or reduce the taxes they would have to pay the Internal
Revenue Service (IRS). It was alleged that Field and Greisman
developed and utilised tax shelters for themselves in order to
evade personal tax liabilities on the substantial income they were
receiving from their design, marketing and implementation of
fraudulent tax shelters.

The conspiracy and tax evasion charges each
carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison, three years’
supervised release, restitution and a fine of $250,000 or twice the
gross gain to the defendant or twice the gross loss to the IRS.

“We are dedicated to holding accountable tax
and financial professionals whose deceit and fraud cost this
country millions in tax revenues,” said Lev Dassin, the acting US
Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

“The allegations contained in the indictment
reflect a brazen disregard for the law.”

Internal Revenue Service commissioner Doug
Shulman added: “Taxpayers deserve our vigilance in the
investigation and prosecution of allegations of fraud by
unscrupulous tax and financial professionals who assist others in
hiding income and evading the payment of their fair share of
taxes.”

Three other former BDO Seidman partners have
pleaded guilty to related charges this year.

Former vice-chairman and board member Charles
Bee pleaded guilty on 3 June to charges of conspiracy to defraud
the IRS, tax evasion and perjury.

Adrian Dicker, another former vice-chairman
pleaded guilty on 17 March to conspiracy and tax evasion
charges.

Principal Michael Kerekes pleaded guilty on 13
February to conspiracy and tax evasion charges.

Southern District of New York assistant US
attorney Stanley Okula and Department of Justice Tax Division
assistant section chief Nanette Davis are in charge of the
prosecution.

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