Thursday, March 29, 2007

U.S. Enters Non-Prosecution Pact With Jenkens & Gilchrist

Jenkens & Gilchrist is shutting down and will pay the IRS a $76 million fine. That’s part of the firm’s non-prosecution agreeement with the feds for criminal violations related to the firm’s tax-shelter activities. As part of the non-prosecution pact, J&G admitted to developing and marketing fraudulent tax shelters, as well as to issuing fraudulent opinion letters.

Says the DOJ press release:

J&G has recognized . . . that its tax shelter practice has caused serious damage to its reputation, revenues and stability, and that as a result it
ultimately cannot continue in business. It was once a thriving firm with over
600 attorneys and offices across the nation. Approximately two-thirds of those
attorneys left, and its revenues declined sharply, as Government scrutiny of the
firm’s tax shelter practices intensified, as civil suits were filed, and as the
firm’s reputation was accordingly tarnished. The firm has advised the Office
that it has recently closed several of its offices, that it will be closing the
last of its offices — its flagship office in Dallas — at the end of the month,
and that J&G will no longer engage in the practice of law.

Here’s part of J&G’s statement made to the Justice Department as part of the non-pros:
We believe certain J&G attorneys developed and marketed fraudulent tax shelters, with fraudulent tax opinions, that wrongly deprived the U.S. Treasury
of significant tax revenues. The firm’s tax shelter practice was spearheaded by
tax practitioners in J&G’s Chicago office who are no longer with the firm.
Those responsible for overseeing the Chicago tax practice placed unwarranted
trust in the judgment and integrity of the attorneys principally responsible for
that practice, and failed to exercise effective oversight and control over the
firm’s tax shelter practice. . . . We deeply regret our involvement in this tax
practice, and the serious harm it caused to the United States Treasury.

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