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HAROLD WEINBERG v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (08/08/83)

decided: August 8, 1983.

HAROLD WEINBERG, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, STATE BOARD OF EXAMINERS OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the State Board of Examiners of Public Accountants in the case of In the Matter of the Suspension or Revocation of Certified Public Accountant's License No. CA-005919-L, issued to Harold Weinberg, dated March 22, 1982.

COUNSEL

Thomas W. Scott, with him Smith B. Gephart, Killian & Gephart, for petitioner.

Ky Van Nguyen, Assistant Counsel, with him Mary S. Wyatte, Assistant Counsel, Edward D. Frank, II, Chief Counsel of Professional and Occupational Affairs, and David F. Phifer, Chief Counsel, for respondent.

Judges Rogers, Blatt and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle. Dissenting Opinion by Judge Blatt.

Author: Doyle

[ 76 Pa. Commw. Page 216]

This is an appeal by Harold Weinberg from an order of the State Board of Examiners of Public Accountants

[ 76 Pa. Commw. Page 217]

    which suspended his certificate and permit to practice public accounting for one year.

In 1974, Weinberg, while engaged in the practice of public accounting with the firm of Winderman, Stein, and Weinberg, prepared a 1973 corporate income tax return for Southside AMC-Jeep, Inc. (Southside), a client. Weinberg learned that Southside's 1973 return would be subject to a federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audit and met with IRS Agent Joseph V. Maher. Maher informed Weinberg that he would accept a bribe to perform a no-change audit. Weinberg conveyed the offer to the owners of Southside and indicated that it might be cheaper to comply with the bribe than to risk the additional tax liability possible upon the disallowance of some of Southside's deductions. The owners of Southside provided Weinberg with an envelope containing $1,500 for the bribe. Weinberg removed $500 for his own use and left $1,000 for Maher.

In early 1975, Weinberg voluntarily contacted the IRS and confessed all that had taken place. His cooperation was solicited in an IRS investigation of dishonest agents and others suspected of criminal activity. He cooperated and submitted to a "body wire" to tape record conversations and his cooperation extended over a period of five or six months. As a result of Weinberg's cooperation, Maher and another agent pleaded guilty to federal charges and served time in federal prison. Weinberg's cooperation also led to the prosecution and conviction of his business partner, Stanley Stein, in 1976.

Since his cooperation with federal authorities in 1975, Weinberg has established a sole proprietorship and has built a successful accounting practice.

On September 16, 1981, the State Board of Examiners of Public Accountants ...


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