Our ongoing survey of cases involving the global accounting giant KPMG has turned up a dark chapter in the company's operations. It operated a scheme whereby high net worth Canadians, with assets that exceeded CAD$5m, were advised to secrete their funds in the Isle of Man, using shell companies. KPMG received fees equal to fifteen per cent of the amount of the amount of taxes evaded by its clients. Over one hundred and thirty million dollars was placed into the scheme.
When Canada Revenue Agency regulators learned of the illicit program, it offered KPMG clients a sweetheart deal, involving no penalty, nor any jail time for the offenders. The agreements were made confidential, meaning that the public and the media were unaware that neither the investing public, nor the media, would learn of the arrangement. Furthermore, KPMG was NOT fined or sanctioned in any way. The entire settlement was kept out of the public eye, until it was leaked to the media by an anonymous whistle blower.
What we are seeing in a pattern whereby KMPG, and its officers, is repeatedly implicated, in case after case, of misconduct, verging at times as criminal, and due it its size, politics, or some other reason, is not held accountable for its misdeeds. This blog will continue to examine cases where KPMG's conduct has been found to be improper, unethical, amoral or criminal.