A former vice chairman and board member of BDO Seidman pleaded guilty to tax evasion in connection with a multimillion-dollar tax-shelter scheme aimed at wealthy clients of the accounting firm.
Adrian Dicker, a former partner in the firm’s New York office, was accused of conspiring with others to cause clients to report over $1 billion in false and fraudulent tax losses, resulting in the evasion of over $200 million in taxes. Dicker pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and to one count of tax evasion.
At his sentencing before New York federal Judge Gerard E. Lynch, scheduled for Dec. 11, Dicker faces a maximum of five years in prison on the conspiracy charge and five years on the tax- evasion charge. On each count, the maximum fine is the greatest of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or gross loss from the offense.
Michael Kerekes, a principal of BDO Seidman, pleaded guilty on Feb. 13 to related conspiracy and tax-evasion charges.
According to the government, Dicker conspired with certain tax-shelter promoters to defraud the U.S. through tax-shelter transactions involving individual clients of BDO Seidman and the law firm of Jenkens & Gilchrist, according to the allegations. Dicker also pleaded guilty to tax evasion in connection with a multimillion-dollar tax shelter. Dicker, who was also vice chairman of BDO Seidman, admitted that he helped sell that shelter to a client of the accounting firm.
From early 1999 through October 2000, Dicker was on the accounting firm’s board, and through October 2003 he served as “a retired partner director,” according to U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. From 1998 until 2000, Dicker was one of the leaders of the BDO Seidman’s Tax Solutions Group (TSG). The activities of the TSG were devoted to designing, marketing, and implementing high-fee tax strategies for wealthy clients, including tax-shelter transactions.
In a statement, BDO Seidman said that Dicker had been “a member of a group of partners within the firm that marketed tax shelter products,” but that the group “was dissolved by BDO several years ago.” It added, “BDO Seidman has cooperated fully with the government’s tax shelter investigation and will continue to do so. The firm does not intend to comment further on this matter.”