One of the 19 defendants facing tax fraud charges over KPMG's sale of questionable shelters struck a surprise deal with federal prosecutors, copping to one count each of conspiracy and tax evasion.

David Rivkin, a tax partner in KPMG's San Diego office and one of the lower-level executives charged in the case, told a Manhattan federal court judge that the allegedly bogus tax shelters had been designed and approved by senior executives at the firm. He said that KPMG targeted wealthy clients interested in offsetting more than $20 million in capital gains as the target market for the shelters.

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