Groupon accounting problems put spotlight on board [Reuters]
[C]orporate governance experts questioned the financial background of the Groupon board's audit committee, which is supposed to oversee both its auditor and the company's own accountants. Groupon spokesman Paul Taaffe said the audit committee has met regularly to address accounting issues since the company discovered in February that the refund rate had increased. Committee members "were in contact with each other, the audit firm and management continuously," he said.
House GOP Gears Up for Tax Fight [WSJ]
House Republicans, preparing for a year-end expiration of tax cuts, this week begin meetings within their caucus in hopes of building a strategy that can both garner significant GOP support and counter Democratic attacks on tax policy. The planning sessions, described by aides and lawmakers, are being led by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R., Mich.) and hosted House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.). The sessions are expected to pave the way for tax-related votes, possibly before the November elections, in order to shape the debate over Bush-era tax cuts and so-called tax extenders in an election season featuring sharp divides over tax policy.
SEC Files Suit Against Third Chinese Company [WSJ]
U.S. regulators sued a Chinese commercial-vehicle company and 11 investors Wednesday over alleged stock manipulation, ratcheting up pressure on U.S.-traded Chinese firms with accounting problems or other issues. The Securities and Exchange Commission's civil lawsuit against AutoChina International Ltd. alleges the company and the investors, including a senior AutoChina executive and relatives of the company's chief executive and majority shareholder, artificially boosted trading in AutoChina stock to make it seem more active than it really was. The intent was to make it easier for the company to get financing, the SEC said. AutoChina said in a statement that it believes the SEC's lawsuit is "without merit" and that "all of the evidence it is aware of contradicts the SEC's allegations." The company said it "intends to defend against the claims vigorously."
IRS likely to get temporary commissioner when Shulman leaves [GovExec]
In comments to Government Executive following Shulman’s announcement this month that he did not wish to be appointed to a second term, a spokeswoman for Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, a longtime Finance Committee member, said, “it seems very unlikely to Sen. Grassley that the Senate would consider an IRS commissioner nominee before the next president is chosen — the choice should be the next president’s, whether that’s President Obama or someone else.”
J.C. Penney CFO to leave this week [Rueters]
J.C. Penney Co Inc said on Wednesday that Michael Dastugue is leaving on Friday after just 15 months as chief financial officer as the department store chain continues to work on its overhaul under its new chief executive. Chief Operating Officer Mike Kramer will assume the CFO duties on an interim basis while a search for a replacement is conducted, the company said. Kramer joined Penney in December, a month after his former boss at Apple Inc, Ron Johnson, became Penney's new chief executive officer.