The New Year began with a symbolic victory for Big Four firm KPMG, as a federal judge here dismissed a criminal conspiracy charge against the U.S. arm of the Big Four firm for conspiring to sell illegal tax shelters.The charge was dropped after prosecutors said that the firm had met its obligations under a deferred-prosecution agreement struck with the government roughly 18 months ago.

"Today's dismissal of the charge reflects our commitment to full and continuing compliance with the agreement we made with the government," KPMG chairman Timothy P. Flynn said, in a statement. "We regret the past activities that led to these charges."

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