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SEC charges Microsoft manager with insider trading

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a senior portfolio manager at Microsoft Corporation and his friend and business partner with insider trading ahead of company announcements.

The SEC alleges that Brian D. Jorgenson, who lives in Lynwood, Wash., obtained confidential information about upcoming company news through his work in Microsoft’s corporate finance and investments division.  Jorgenson tipped Sean T. Stokke of Seattle in advance of the Microsoft announcements, the most recent occurring in October.  After Stokke traded on the inside information that Jorgenson provided, the two equally split the illicit profits in their shared brokerage accounts.  They made joint trading decisions with the goal of generating enough profits to create their own hedge fund.

In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington today announced criminal charges against Jorgenson and Stokke.

“Abusing access to Microsoft’s confidential information and …

Ex-Im Bank approves $694 million in financing

In a decision that will support an estimated 3,400 American jobs, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has authorized a $694.4 million loan to Roy Hill Holdings of Australia contingent upon the purchase of U.S. mining and rail equipment from Caterpillar Inc., GE, and Atlas Copco.

According to Bank estimates derived from Departments of Commerce and Labor data and methodology, the credit will support 3,400 U.S. jobs across America. Furthermore, an estimated 20% of the job support will benefit small-business jobs.

“After a comprehensive review, the Bank determined that this transaction represents a significant opportunity for American exporters to create and sustain American jobs,” said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. “Our financing positions American companies on a level playing field so they can close the sales and expand their homegrown workforces. Projects this size can be difficult to finance—that’s where Ex-Im comes in. And I am proud that t…

IRS vendors owe $589 million in taxes

More than 1,100 vendors doing business with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) owe a combined $589 million in Federal tax debt, according to a new report publicly released today by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). Federal law generally prohibits agencies from contracting with businesses that have unpaid Federal tax liabilities.

TIGTA reviewed the IRS’s controls over the integrity and validity of vendors receiving payments from the IRS, including the vendor’s tax compliance and suspension and debarment status.  TIGTA also reviewed controls over the IRS’s Vendor Master File (VMF), which contains information about vendors that enables them to do business with the IRS.

The vast majority of vendors that conduct business with the IRS meet their Federal tax obligations.  However, TIGTA found that 1,168 IRS vendors (7%) had a combined $589 million of Federal tax debt as of July 2012, the most recent data for which information was available at the time TIGTA cond…