Former Quellos execs plead guilty

* Greenstein, Wilk to pay $7 mln in penalties to IRS

* Plead guilty to conspiracy, aiding false tax filing

* Investment management firm had prominent clients

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 10 (BestGrowthStock) – Two former executives of
a Seattle investment management firm pleaded guilty on Friday
and admitted they helped taxpayers avoid $240 million in taxes,
the U.S. Attorney in Seattle announced.

Former Quellos Group LLC chief executive Jeffrey Greenstein
and its tax attorney Charles Wilk agreed to pay $7 million in
penalties to the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Attorney Jenny
Durkan said in a press release.

The men pleaded to conspiracy and assisting with the filing
of a false tax return, Durkan’s office said.

Attorneys for Greenstein and Wilk were not immediately
available to comment. BlackRock Inc (BLK.N: ) bought the fund of
funds business of Quellos for $1.7 billion in 2007.

Quellos offered a tax avoidance scheme called POINT, which
purportedly permitted wealthy taxpayers to mix large capital
gains with losses from the sale of depreciated stock, the
government said. The firm worked with prominent individuals,
among them billionaire media mogul Haim Saban, who at one point
told a U.S. Senate panel he had been duped by the company.

Under the terms of the deal with Greenstein and Wilk, the
government will argue for no more than six years in prison,
while the defendants will push for a sentence of no less than
two years, Durkan’s office said. The men will also be required
to speak at their graduate schools about business and legal
ethics.

Sentencing is scheduled for January, according to the court
docket. The case in U.S. District Court, Western District of
Washington is No. 08-cr-0296.
(Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Gary Hill)
([email protected]; + 415 348-4726)

Former Quellos execs plead guilty