ADVISORY COMMITTEE ISSUES PROGRESS REPORTWashington, D.C. — The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Advisory Committee on Improvements to Financial Reporting has released a progress report on its work to date.

The key themes include placing greater emphasis on the investor perspective in the financial reporting system, and consolidating the process of setting and interpreting accounting standards. The committee wants to promote the design of more uniform and principles-based accounting standards and create a disciplined framework for the increased use of professional judgment.

The committee is also in favor of coordinating U.S. GAAP with International Financial Reporting Standards.


New York — Two additional defendants have been charged with criminal tax fraud in a tax shelter case involving current and former partners at Big Four firm Ernst & Young.

In May 2007, the Justice Department filed an indictment alleging that four current and former E&Y partners - Robert Coplan, Martin Nissenbaum, Richard Shapiro and Brian Vaughn, along with co-conspirators - concocted and marketed tax shelter transactions designed for wealthy individuals to eliminate or defer their tax liabilities. The government said they took steps to prevent the IRS from detecting their clients’ use of the tax shelters.

The superseding indictment charges two additional individuals - David L. Smith, 51, of San Francisco, and Charles Bolton, 45, of Memphis, Tenn. - with participating in the same conspiracy, and it charges all six defendants with additional offenses.

According to the superseding indictment, in late 1998 or early 1999, Smith introduced a fraudulent tax shelter called CDS to the E&Y defendants, and later that year, used his company, the Private Capital Management Group, to implement CDS transactions for wealthy clients identified by E&Y.

According to an E&Y spokesperson, two of the partners who have been indicted are on leave and two are former partners, but the firm itself is not a defendant in the case.

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