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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Another Quick Note about Madoff

Madoff's portrait was on the cover of Shiv'ah Yamim ("Seven Days"), the weekly magazine of Israel's most popular daily newspaper, Yediot Aharonot ("Latest News"), this past weekend. The title on the cover, in huge red letters: "The Traitor". Inside the tale of woe of Madoff's victims in the Jewish community.

In a sense, the fact that Madoff scammed so many Jews is a blessing. It gives the lie to the "Jews scamming the goyim [gentiles]" antisemitic routine. The last time the ethnicity of both parties in an event was so important to the American public's perception of the relationship between Jews and gentiles was probably during the Rosenbergs' trial in the 1950s. Then, that both the judge and the prosecutor were Jews went a long way toward stopping the trial from becoming, however unintentionally, a "Christians hanging the Jews" spectacle in the view of some people.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Proskauer Rose law firm dismissed from tax shelter case

Prominent Houston trial attorney brought a lawsuit against many parties, including the Proskauer Rose law firm, relating to a tax shelter sold by Ernst & Young.

The action filed by Fleming and his company, Pelican Trading, alleged that the Personal Investment Corporation (PICO) tax shelters, which Ernst & Young developed -- and which Proskauer Rose allegedly said were more likely than not permissible under the federal tax code -- resulted in huge losses when an audit by the Internal Revenue Service found them unlawful.

However, the Texas judge granted the dismissal of the law firm, on the grounds that the court had no personal jurisdiction over the firm.

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Son of BOSS Tax Shelter Flops

Two California real estate investors went down the tube in the defense of their Son of BOSS tax shelter, involving options sold by AIG.

Thomas, a former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) attorney, and Fox owned real estate, including interests in the Library Tower, the Gas Company Tower and the Wells Fargo Center, all located in Los Angeles. In 2001 they sought out an abusive tax shelter that has become known as "Son of BOSS." In the Son of BOSS scheme used by Thomas and Fox, they purchased an exotic form of a financial option that they claim would have protected them against a catastrophic decline in real estate values, which they feared in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11.

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Tax Protestor Daniel Benham Convicted

Tax protestor and promoter Daniel Benham of Twin Lakes, Michigan, was convicted of tax evasion for failing to file tax returns from 2000 to 2003. Benham gave seminars on how to use bankruptcy and various legal entities to avoid paying taxes. Now he can give seminars on how to survive federal prison camp.

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