The judge presiding over the KPMG tax shelter case has agreed to sever the four tax evasion counts for one of the defendants from the rest of the charges relating to the tax shelter.

Raymond Ruble, a former partner with the law firm Brown & Wood, had asked the judge to sever the charges that accused him of evading personal income taxes between 1998 and 2001.

"Although the indictment does not exclude the possibility that Ruble's unreported side-payments were related to the conspiracy, neither does it allege that the unreported income arose from the conspiracy," wrote Judge Lewis Kaplan. "Unguided by an allegation of how the unreported income related to the conspiracy, the court will not hypothesize about how they could be related."

Ruble and three other defendants are expected to face trial next month. A fifth defendant, Amir Makov, pleaded guilty last September (see Defendant in KPMG Case Pleads Guilty). Judge Kaplan dismissed charges against 13 other defendants last July (see Judge Drops KPMG Charges).

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