A judge has ruled that it was unconstitutional pressure from the government that led KPMG to place a cap on how much of the legal tab it would pick up for 16 former employees facing federal charges over the sale of questionable tax shelters.

U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan declined to dismiss the indictment against the former KPMG employees, but did open a civil court docket for the group -- suggesting that the former workers file civil charges against the Big Four firm to get their legal fees paid in full.

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