Criminal Justice

Lawyer, Big Four Partners Charged in Tax Fraud Scheme


A former lawyer for the Internal Revenue Service is among four past and present partners of Ernst & Young charged today in an alleged tax fraud scheme intended to benefit wealthy clients and earn big fees.

Robert Coplan, 54, a Texas lawyer who once worked for the IRS Legislation and Regulations Division and is a past partner of Ernst & Young, was charged with tax fraud conspiracy concerning an allegedly abusive tax shelter scheme, according to the London Times. His three co-defendants in the federal court case in Manhattan also are or were partners in the Big Four accounting firm, and include the national director of Ernst & Young’s personal income tax and retirement planning practice, reports the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.).

Today’s indictment can be read on this Wall Street Journal (PDF) page. The charges follow a longstanding investigation of abusive tax shelters by the Department of Justice involving both other accounting firms and law firms.

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