Sunday, April 22, 2007

 

22 April 2007 collected stories with links: B.C. Rail, Basi, Virk, Basi, and others

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DRUG ALLEGATIONS TAINT BASI-VIRK TRIAL: LAWYER
The Province - April 22, 2007
By Susan Lazaruk

Synopsis: Drugs, organized crime, $10,000. media contracts, and an RCMP press release re-written to include two favourable references to Liberal government.

Full story at: http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/story.html?id=0cd34492-db5e-4090-abba-75b5685aaa72
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B.C. PROBES BUREAUCRAT'S TIES TO LOBBYIST
Auditing firm KPMG called in to investigate ex-deputy minister, now ICBC chief
Lindsay Kines and Jeff Rud
Times Colonist - April 19, 2007

Synopsis: In an e-mail dated Aug. 23, 2003 Brian Kieran of the lobbying firm Pilothouse tells his partners about a fishing trip that day with then-deputy finance minister Paul Taylor, now the president and chief executive officer of ICBC in which Taylor gave him "the real goods" on the B.C. Automobile Dealers Association and its president, Glen Ringdal. KPMG is investigating; their report is expected in one month.
Full story: http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/story.html?id=5860b950-8f72-48eb-826e-4113f85d1c12


About KPMG
From KPMG PARTNERS MAY BE CHARGED
Washington Post - 3 Aug 2005

... "The only possible way to have made these people behave -- they were so far below professional standards -- is in fact that some people have to go to jail," said Calvin H. Johnson, a tax law professor at the University of Texas at Austin who has written about the KPMG case.

Unlike in the Andersen investigation, in which only one mid-level audit partner pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice, prosecutors are scrutinizing senior people at KPMG, one of the four big remaining audit firms in the nation.

Among those at KPMG who are facing government scrutiny are such high-ranking officials as its former deputy chairman, the onetime head of the firm's tax services unit and the former leader of the District-based national tax practice.

The shelters, called names such as OPIS, FLIPS and BLIPS, generally helped wealthy clients to create large paper losses, offsetting big gains that otherwise would have produced steep tax bills. Senate investigators estimated the shelters reduced federal tax revenue by $1.4 billion.

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Comments:
Some commentators, among them legal counsel for one or more of the accused, have remarked at length about the use of the term 'organized crime' to describe what it was the police were ostensibly investigating in this case.

Lately it has been observed by lawyers and the press that Messrs Basi and Virk have been unjustifiably smeared with this label - especially since the drug charges originally alleged to be part of their 'crimes' have all been stayed or dropped.

Without disagreeing with these conclusions, it is still hard not to conclude that something very "organized" is going on and has been going on in this province at what appears to be the highest levels.

Sadly, the appointment of a firm like KPMG to 'investigate' any part of this mess seems just another aspect of this whole process. One cannot expect weasels to investigate the skunks' depredations from the chicken coop.
GW
 
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