November 13, 2018

Let’s Talk About the Denis Field Tax Shelter Verdict Before We Get Any More Angry Emails

Alright, we have to admit we totally blew reporting this in a timely manner — or rather, I did, because it happened while Colin was off doing whatever it is he does when he isn't working. And someone named Jayne Field (coincidence?) made sure to let us know.

In her first email, she sticks to the facts:

From: Jayne Field

To: Editor

Subj: You missed reporting this, despite reporting mistrial

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303618904579170233058641904

Great, that's awkward. Maybe we missed it because covering BDO isn't really high up there on the editorial calendar (unlike @lifeatdeloitte and Grover Norquist's misadventures at the Thanksgiving table, obvs) and our Denis Field Google Alert is a little rusty. Like most tips, we ignored it and had every intention of catching up but just didn't get around to it.

6 days later, "Jayne" returns, slightly more persistent this time:

I have yet to hear a response. I assume you will close the circle here and report the conclusion?

This, of course, led us to wonder why "Jayne" cares so much about this case. I asked her yesterday what her interest in this case is and have yet to hear a response so I'll be sure to check back in with her in 6 days to point that out.

Anyhoo, back to the WSJ article. VINDICATION, Denis Field's 2011 conviction on conspiracy and tax-evasion charges is NO MORE:

A former chief executive of accounting firm BDO Seidman LLP was acquitted Thursday of federal charges of tax-shelter fraud, in a retrial he had won after he was convicted on similar allegations two years ago.

Denis Field, BDO's CEO from 1999 to 2003, was found not guilty on all charges in federal court in Manhattan.

The company changed its name to BDO USA in 2010. "I think we're over the moon.

We're ecstatic," said Sharon McCarthy, an attorney for Mr. Field.

A second defendant in the case, Paul Daugerdas, the former head of the now-defunct law firm Jenkens & Gilchrist's Chicago office, was convicted Thursday on seven of the 16 counts against him.

Naturally, someone who likely is NOT "Jayne Field" wondered out loud — through our tip box — if this decision means the wolf pack will be out for blood:

Do you think??? Denis Field, former BDO ALPHA WOLF,  will be filing a lawsuit against BDO and BDO lawyers very very soon….??

WOLVES have been known to protect themselves!!

As far as we know, we have yet to hear from Denis Field (unless he's going by Jayne these days), although we did get this email from someone using his name that purports to be from BDO CEO Wayne Berson to BDO partners in light of the Field verdict:

From: Wayne Berson
Sent: Thursday, October 31, 2013 6:52 PM

To: BDO-PARTNERS
Cc: lawyer; PR hack
Subject: Denis Field

E-MAIL COMMUNICATION TO PARTNERS re FIELD NOT-GUILTY VERDICT

We have been informed that former BDO CEO Denis Field has been found not guilty in his re-trial related to his participation in the firm's long-ago disbanded tax solution group.  The case has not garnered any media coverage, but we anticipate this will change now that a verdict has been reached.

While most of you are well-versed on the details of this case, those of you who are new to the firm  may be less familiar.  Mr. Field has not been associated with BDO for a decade, following a change in leadership. During his tenure, he led a group within BDO that was involved in tax shelter products. That group was disbanded many years ago and BDO has previously reached a resolution with the government with respect to the firm’s involvement in tax shelters for high net worth clients between 1997 and 2003.

If you are asked about any media coverage of this verdict by clients, you should be sure to put the subject in the appropriate context.  You can consider telling them that:

1.    BDO was not a party to this trial

2.    The individuals who led the former tax solutions group, including Mr. Field, are no longer with BDO and have not been for some time. 

3.    This is an outgrowth of an investigation – which began more than eleven years ago – by the government of numerous national accounting, law and financial services firms.

4.    BDO has previously reached a resolution with the government regarding these matters and that it has had no adverse impact on the firm’s operations and ability to serve clients.

Should you receive any media inquiries, please refer them to Jerry, our external public relations representative.  You can reach Jerry at [phone number] or [Jerry's PR company email]. 

If you need help in responding to any client inquiries, feel free to contact Michael at [Michael's law firm email].

Wayne Berson
Chief Executive Officer
 

While we can't confirm the alleged email from Wayne actually came from Wayne, we did talk to the nice PR hack listed in said email who confirmed that yes, this story is old as dirt. Thanks, Jerry!

ARE YOU HAPPY NOW, "JAYNE"?! Covered, boom.

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