Washington (Nov. 19, 2003) -- Called on the carpet by congressional investigators about promoting abusive tax shelters, representatives of several top accounting firms told a Senate Government Affairs Subcommittee that they engaged in “regrettable” activities during the late 1990s in response to the clamor for aggressive tax reduction strategies from clients enriched by the booming stock market.

“The stock market boom and the proliferation of stock option awards in the 1990s created an unprecedented number of individual taxpayers with large gains and significant potential tax liabilities,” Ernst & Young Tax Services vice chair Mark Weinberger said during hearings before the panel.

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