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U.S. Criminal Probe of Ernst & Young

May 24, 2004 | UPI

New York prosecutors launched a criminal probe into Ernst & Young's promotions of potentially illegal tax shelters.

The federal investigation comes less than one year after the third largest U.S. accounting firm reached a civil settlement with the Internal Revenue Service over past shelter work.

The grand jury probe also comes right after a separate criminal investigation into sales of certain tax shelters at KPMG.

Government concern about accounting fraud stems from a frenzy of tax-shelter sales ignited by the late-1990s economic boom and stock-market rally, estimated to have siphoned tens of billions of dollars from Treasury coffers.

"As we have done in other inquiries regarding tax shelters, we are cooperating fully with this investigation," Ernst spokesman Charles Perkins said. He declined to comment further.

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