Terrorism

PwC New Zealand Accountant Killed in Christchurch Mosque Terrorist Attack

A 27-year-old chartered accountant from Pakistan who worked at PwC New Zealand was among the 50 people who were killed during a terrorist attack at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15, according to published reports. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Pakistan confirmed the death of Syed Areeb Ahmed on March 16. […]

Ex-PwC Employee Discovers Just How Limiting a Career-Limiting Move Supporting Terrorism Can Be

Have you been entertaining the thought of giving the spreadsheets a rest and offering your support to a known terrorist organization? For those with their hands up, you might like to know that ex-PwC senior manager Sabirhan Hasanoff opted for this route and it has not gone so well. He was found guilty last June of supporting al-Qaida […]

Job of the Day: Al Qaeda Needs an Accountant

Serious applicants only please.

A longtime associate of Usama bin Laden on Wednesday pleaded guilty at Guantanamo Bay to terror charges of conspiracy and material support, marking the first-ever conviction under the military commission system resurrected by President Obama.

[…]

Al Qosi was accused of supporting terrorism by serving on a Taliban mortar crew and occasionally as bin Laden’s bodyguard. While not a household name, it is alleged that al Qosi, who is Sudanese, knew bin Laden from his days in Sudan in the early ’90s and ultimately followed the Al Qaeda leader to Afghanistan.

Court documents claim that he served in a number of roles for his longtime friend — from driver to accountant to cook in the kitchen at bin Laden’s Afghanistan compound before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Perhaps most importantly, he allegedly facilitated bin Laden’s escape from Tora Bora in late 2001.

Big shoes to fill no doubt but you’ll probably clean their books up lickity. Benefits allegedly include weapons training, bomb making and lots and lots of virgins (after death of course).

Bin Laden Aide Pleads Guilty in First Terror Conviction Under Obama Commissions [Fox News]

Accounting News Roundup: Bidz.com’s Financial Reporting Could Have Some Issues; Tax Planning Stays One Step Ahead Financial Reform; Accountant Denied Bail in Terror Case | 05.18.10

Can We Trust Bidz.com’s Financial Reporting? [White Collar Fraud]
We won’t tell you what to think but you should know that Bidz reported “material weaknesses in internal control over financial reporting” specifically those controls over “management oversight and anti-fraud controls specifically in processing of financial transactions, vendor review and payment processing,” in its most recent 10-K and 10-Q As an investor in Bidz, this should make you queasy. Unless, of course, you’re not concerned with such matters.


Sam Antar probably doesn’t care either way but he does put something out there, “Bidz.com cannot effectively prevent anyone from robbing the company blind and cannot prevent material errors in paying its vendors. Yet, the company wants you to believe that its financial reports contain no material errors and comply with GAAP.” But if you’re not sketched out by such things, then by all means, invest away.

But wait, in case that doesn’t earn your skepticism, the SEC began its investigation last year after Sam pointed out inventory irregularities at the company. Shortly thereafter, the Commission expanded its investigation into “the Company’s co-op marketing contributions and minimum gross profit guarantees.” If that wasn’t enough, the company’s auditors, Stonefield Josephson, were cited by the PCAOB for “significant deficiencies in a smaller sample of one of four audits reviewed.” So, again, if you can get over all that, this is probably a fine company to have your money invested in.

Bobbing as the Taxman Weaves [DealBook]
As Congress continues to dispel its wisdom on financial reform, it’s has become the natural order of things for any regulation to be circumvented prior to the passage of any bill.

In the case of carried interest, an incentive paid to hedge and private equity fund managers out of gains on the funds’ investments, Congress would like to tax these incentives at the ordinary rate (soon to be 39.6%). Currently, carried interest is taxed at the capital gains rate of 15%. DealBook reports that, despite threats by House to penalize those who use creative tax strategies that later fail, the maneuvering has not slowed:

The House of Representatives, aware that some titans of finance were already charting a course around any proposed change to their tax status, included a special provision in its version of the new legislation levying a 40 percent penalty for executives who invoked a loophole to cut their tax bill but were later ruled to have been wrong in doing so.

Still, that hasn’t stopped them from trying.

One of the latest machinations being whispered about in the industry goes like this: Private equity executives would sell their “carried interest” to a third party and then use the cash they received to invest directly in the deal so that any increase in value would be a capital gain.

It’s not clear whether this will work or not but it sure seems like fun.

Accountant held without bail in NYC in terror case [AP]
Sabirhan Hasanoff, a former PwC Senior Manager, was denied bail yesterday for his role in an alleged conspiracy that supported al-Qaida. He pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

In More Accounting Firm-Terrorism Related News, Some Taxi Driver Really Had It Out for Deloitte

After a sun-adverse family man tried to blow up the Viacom Building (and was close enough to E&Y to evacuate the area) and a former PwC Senior Manager was charged yesterday for supporting terrorism, now a taxi driver whose company serviced Deloitte in India has been arrested for attempting to set off a bomb in Hyderabad’s HITEC City:

Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba was planning bomb attacks on the HITEC City, a major IT township here, and the office of a multinational auditing firm.

Mohammad Zia Ul Haq, who was arrested yesterday following a tip off by the National Investigation Agency, was directed by his LeT handlers to bomb the Hyderabad office of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, one of the four largest auditors in the world, and was in the process of carrying out the plan, government sources said.

Interestingly, Haq works as a driver for a taxi service hired by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.

What kind a-holes do they have working at Deloitte in Hyderabad? Bad enough that this guy concluded that bombing a company that puts food in his mouth was an action that needed to be taken. Thankfully, they caught the guy.

Obviously the question now is, when does KPMG get its little terrorist related news?

LeT planning to attack Hyderabad’s HITEC City [Economic Times]

Former PwC Senior Manager Charged with Supporting Terrorism

Late on Friday, two men were charged with conspiring to support al-Qaida, including a former senior manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers, according to the AP.

Wesam El-Hanafi a computer engineer, and Sabirhan Hasanoff, the former P. Dub SM, were both in court on Friday after being arrested overseas and returned to the United States from Dubai.

The AP reports that the “vaguely-worded” indictment states that El-Hanafi was instructed by al-Qaida “on operational security measures and directed him to perform tasks for al-Qaida” and that Hasanoff was paid $50,000 by an unnamed co-conspirator and was ordered to perform unspecified tasks for AQ in New York.

The U.S. Attorney was quoted that the two men are accused of helping “to modernize al-Qaida by providing computer systems expertise and other goods and services,” which involved purchasing seven Casio watches (?).

Prosecutors described Hasanoff only as a dual citizen of the United States and Australia who has lived in Brooklyn. Public records show he has a Queens address and is a certified public accountant.

A professional networking site says a Sabir Hasanoff was a senior manager at Pricewaterhouse Coopers who graduated from Baruch College in Manhattan. Pricewaterhouse spokesman Kelly Howard said the accounting firm employed Hasanoff from 2003 to 2006.

This LinkedIn profile shows the details reported by the AP. A call to PwC was not immediately returned.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Hasanoff’s brother and sister-in-law had not spoken to him in 12 years, “No, he was never in trouble. I don’t know what’s happened now. He studied at a private school. Maybe he has changed. I don’t know if he’s a good person or a bad person because we haven’t been connected now for a long time.”

We’re not insinuating that his time at PwC was the reason for his lifestyle change but three years at any Big 4 firm would change anybody. That being said, turning to terrorism is deplorable. Couldn’t he have developed a dependancy problem of some kind instead?

2 men charged in NYC with supporting terror [AP]
2 U.S. men charged with aiding al-Qaida [UPI]
Australian ‘linked’ to al-Qaeda [Sydney Morning Herald]