Shapiro, Arato & Isserles Wins Second Circuit Acquittal of Ernst & Young Attorney’s Tax Fraud Conviction

On November 29, 2012, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed the conviction of two tax lawyers and former partners of Ernst & Young (“E&Y”), including our client, Richard Shapiro. Mr. Shapiro had been convicted in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on charges of conspiracy to defraud and tax evasion relating to certain “tax shelters” in which E&Y clients participated.

The Court held that the evidence was insufficient to convict Mr. Shapiro on each of the charges, thereby directing an acquittal on all counts. The Court held that the government’s evidence could not support a finding that Mr. Shapiro acted with criminal intent and held that all of it was equally consistent with the defense, which argued that he acted in good faith.

Alexandra A.E. Shapiro argued the appeal; Ms. Shapiro, Marc E. Isserles and James Darrow co-authored the briefs.

The opinion in United States v. Coplan can be found here.