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Archive for William Byrnes

Whistleblower Awarded More Than a Million Dollars By The SEC

William Byrnes, Tax Advisor

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that a whistleblower has earned an award of more than $1 million for providing the SEC with new information and substantial corroborating documentation of a securities law violation by a registered entity that impacted retail customers.

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Will Equifax Executives Face SEC Charges For Selling Their Shares Before the Public Disclosure of 145 Million Hacked Consumer Files Led to Share Price Collapse?

William Byrnes, Tax Advisor

From mid-May 2017 through July 2017 Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies, allowed the personal and financial records of 145.5 million American consumers to be collected by nefarious criminal actors.  On March 8, 2017, reports the New York Post, Equifax had been warned by the Department of Homeland Security about the software flaw that could lead to the breach, but Equifax did not patch the flaw.

Equifax, as reported by the Federal Trade Commission, allowed access to people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. They also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 people. UK and Canada personal information was also hacked.

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SEC Obtains $58 Million Judgment Against Perpetrator of International Pump-and-Dump Scheme Involving Marley Coffee

William Byrnes, Tax Advisor

The Securities and Exchange Commission obtained a $58 million judgment against a UK and Canadian resident charged with perpetrating a multi million-dollar, international pump-and-dump scheme involving the stock of Jammin’ Java Corp., a company that used trademarks of the late reggae artist Bob Marley to sell coffee products.

The final judgment against Wayne Weaver, entered on October 2, 2017, permanently enjoins Weaver from violating Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Section 13(d) of the Exchange Act and Rules 13d-1 and 13d-2 thereunder; permanently bars Weaver from participating in penny stock offerings; and orders Weaver to pay disgorgement of $26,371,585, prejudgment interest of $5,221,809, and a civil penalty of $26,371,585, for a total of $57,964,979. On September 15, 2017, Weaver filed a notice of appeal.

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FATCA’S Unintended Consequences – Feeding Corruption And Suppression Of Political Rivals

William Byrnes, Tax Advisor

FATCA’s primary purpose was for the U.S. government to obtain otherwise private financial information and exercise control of the global financial industry. Unlike a conventional withholding tax which actually intends to collect tax, FATCA imposes penalties based upon non-compliance with tax.

The tax revenue projections, which were used to validate the passage of FATCA did not show FATCA raising any significant tax revenue annually. In fact, except for the extraordinary penalties assessed, little additional tax has been collected. In comparison to the annual on budget spending by the U.S. government, the actual amount of tax collected by FATCA is statistically insignificant.

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EU Commission Proposes Tax System for Digital Sales

The European Commission is launching a new EU agenda to ensure that the digital economy is taxed in a fair and growth-friendly way. The Communication adopted by the Commission sets out the challenges Member States currently face when it comes to acting on this pressing issue and outlines possible solutions to be explored.

The aim is to ensure a coherent EU approach to taxing the digital economy that supports the Commission’s key priorities of completing the Digital Single Market and ensuring the fair land effective taxation of all companies. Today’s Communication paves the way for a legislative proposal on EU rules for the taxation of profits in the digital economy, as confirmed by President Juncker in the 2017 State of the Union. Those rules could be set out as early as spring 2018. Today’s paper should also feed into international work in this area, notably in the G20 and the OECD. Read more

Global Forum Publishes Ratings On Tax Transparency

The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (the Global Forum) published the first 10 outcomes of a new and enhanced peer review process aimed at assessing compliance with international standards for the exchange of information on request between tax authorities.

The new round of peer reviews – launched in mid-2016 – follows a six-year process during which the Global Forum assessed the legal and regulatory framework for information exchange (Phase 1) as well as the actual practices and procedures (Phase 2) in 119 jurisdictions worldwide.

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U.S. Attorney & Swiss Firm To Resolve Tax Investigation

Prime Partners SA Will Pay $5 Million in Forfeiture and Restitution; Receives Non-Prosecution Agreement As a Result of its Extraordinary Cooperation

Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Stuart M. Goldberg, Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, and James D. Robnett, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (“IRS-CI”), announced today that Prime Partners SA (“Prime Partners”) entered into a non-prosecution agreement (“NPA”) with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and agreed to pay $5 million to the United States for assisting U.S. taxpayer-clients in opening and maintaining undeclared foreign bank accounts from 2001 through 2010. Read more

PHH Pays Millions For False Claims Act Liability

PHH Corp. PHH Mortgage Corp. and PHH Home Loans (collectively, PHH) have agreed to pay the United States $74,453,802 to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by knowingly originating and underwriting mortgage loans insured by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Federal Housing Administration (FHA), guaranteed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and purchased by the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”) that did not meet applicable requirements, the Justice Department announced today. PHH is headquartered in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, and PHH Home Loans operates in Edina, Minnesota. PHH has agreed to pay $65 million to resolve the FHA allegations and $9.45 million to resolve the VA and FHFA allegations. Read more

E-Commerce Company Pleads Guilty to Price-Fixing Conspiracy

Conspiracy Was Conducted Through Social Media and Encrypted Messaging Applications

An e-commerce company and its top executive have agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to fix prices for customized promotional products sold online to customers in the United States. Zaappaaz Inc. (d/b/a WB Promotions Inc., Wrist-Band.com and Customlanyard.net) and its president Azim Makanojiya agreed to plead guilty to a one-count criminal violation of the Sherman Act. Read more

Platform For Collaboration On Tax Invites Comments

The Platform for Collaboration on Tax – a joint initiative of the IMF, OECD, UN and World Bank Group – is seeking public feedback on a draft toolkit designed to help developing countries tackle the complexities of taxing offshore indirect transfers of assets, a practice by which some multinational corporations try to minimise their tax liability.    Read more

Former Banker Pleads Guilty For Conspiring To Defraud The US

William Byrnes

A citizen and resident of Switzerland pleaded guilty today to conspiring to defraud the United States in connection with her work as the head of a team of bankers for Credit Suisse AG, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente for the Eastern District of Virginia. Read more

Canadian Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Defraud U.S.

A Canadian man pleaded guilty today in Rochester, New York to conspiring to defraud the United States and stealing government funds, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. for the Western District of New York. Read more

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