Federal prosecutors received yet another slap on the wrist from Manhattan Judge Lewis Kaplan, as the judge ruled they inappropriately used economic pressure to coerce testimony from two partners at KPMG.

Kaplan said statements from the two partners would be inadmissible in the government's trial against 18 people -- including 16 former KPMG employees -- on charges of selling illegal tax shelters. Just last month, Kaplan accused the government of pressuring the Big Four firm to stop paying the legal bills of any workers accused of wrongdoing before encouraging the defendants to file suit against the firm demanding their full legal expenses be covered.

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