White-Collar Crime

Ex-Arnold & Porter Partner Gets Probation in Tax-Shelter Case, Wanted to Be 'Big Shot'

A federal judge in Manhattan this week sentenced a former Arnold & Porter partner to three years of probation in a tax shelter case, citing the personal and professional damage he has already suffered and his extensive cooperation as reasons for not sending him to prison.

Peter Cinquegrani, 50, who also worked for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service for several years in between his approximately 17 years at the law firm, admittedly helped Ernst & Young accounting firm employees create abusive tax shelters for wealthy clients backed by legal opinions, according to Reuters. He also admittedly lied under oath in 2003 when questioned about his shelter work.

He pleaded guilty in 2008 to charges of conspiracy and tax evasion.

Wanting to be a “big shot” among tax lawyers, “I helped people cheat on their taxes,” Cinquegrani told Judge Sidney Stein yesterday. “I knew what I did was wrong and I did it anyway.”

Four Ernst & Young partners were sentenced to prison in the case, reports Bloomberg.

Cinquegrani charged as much as $100,000 for his opinion letters, the news agency says.

Additional coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Former Arnold & Porter Partner Pleads Guilty in Tax Shelter Case”

ABAJournal.com: “Are More Law Firms in IRS Sights in Ongoing Tax Shelter Probe?”

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