It was a deal years in the making, though industry observers say that it didn't have to be.In striking an agreement to escape a potentially fatal criminal indictment for its sale of legally questionable tax shelters from 1996 to 2002, KPMG will pay a $456 million fine to the federal government and essentially spend the next 16 months on probation. The firm has also agreed to close its tax business for high-net-worth individuals within six months.
Experts agreed that it was a reasonable price for the firm to pay, compared to the alternative - an across-the-board prohibition from working with public clients if it were found guilty.
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