Files Malpractice Complaints with IRS and Other Accounting Regulatory Bodies for Citrin’s Failure to File Purolite Tax Returns for Five Years and Additional Acts of Gross Professional Misconduct
Purolite Corp. ("Purolite") and its principals, Stefan and Don Brodie, today added a claim for negligent misrepresentation to its extensive complaint against its former accounting firm Citrin Cooperman & Company, LLP ("Citrin"), its co-founder and CEO, Joel A. Cooperman, and several of its principals.
This new claim was added to the eight-count complaint Purolite and the Brodies filed against Citrin and its principals in April 2020 alleging, among other things, fraud, gross negligence and breach of contract. The lawsuit chronicles Citrin’s blatant incompetence, intentional concealment and extreme bad faith, which resulted in Purolite’s unwitting failure to meet its tax filing obligations. Citrin’s malfeasance caused Purolite to suffer substantial harm and required the company to hire new accountants and lawyers to remedy the breach the accounting firm caused. The lawsuit was filed in the Philadelphia, PA Court of Common Pleas.
Citrin falsely represented to Purolite that it had completed and filed all required returns with governmental entities, when in fact, Citrin never filed corporate returns for tax years 2013 through 2017 and failed to properly file required tax forms for Purolite’s foreign affiliates from 2010 through 2017. Purolite’s founding partners have consistently paid all of the taxes that Citrin Cooperman advised were owed, including for the years for which Citrin Cooperman failed to file the corporate tax returns.
When Purolite first discovered Citrin’s dereliction of duty in mid-2019, Purolite immediately confronted Citrin and demanded explanations, documents, copies of returns and other relevant paperwork. Citrin admitted to its egregious errors and initially feigned cooperation, but has since obstructed Purolite, exacerbating the already significant damages suffered by Purolite. Citrin compounded its misconduct by concealing its failure to file the relevant returns and hampering Purolite’s efforts to mitigate the harm Citrin caused by refusing to provide necessary records in its possession so that Purolite could belatedly file returns and related tax forms with governmental entities. In addition, Citrin forged signatures on [at least two] Purolite engagement letters in a fraudulent attempt to indemnify itself retroactively once its malpractice was discovered by Purolite.
"We entrusted Citrin to properly file our corporate tax returns with the relevant governmental authorities and expected that, as a major accredited accounting firm, Citrin would fulfill those basic duties," said Stefan Brodie, co-founder and CEO of Purolite. "Instead, they have not only abjectly failed to meet their professional obligations but also conducted themselves in a shockingly unethical manner, including forging my signature. They were given ample opportunity to remedy the situation but instead exacerbated it, leaving us no choice but to go back to court."
In hindsight, Citrin’s lies and other misconduct should not have been a surprise as it follows a pattern. Citrin has a documented history of professional malfeasance, including failure to file client tax returns and lying about it. An important Citrin partner was convicted of larceny and tax fraud for embezzling almost $1 million from several clients, two of whom were among his closest friends. Another Citrin partner, the former managing partner of the Philadelphia office, helped funnel clients to investment funds that were part of a multi-million-dollar Ponzi scheme that left innocent victims in its wake.
In connection with Citrin’s gross professional misconduct, Purolite has also filed malpractice complaints against Citrin and several of its principals – Joel Cooperman, Mark Carrow, Alan Mandeloff, Mary Brislin and Terry Silver – with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) and the State Board of Accountancy for both New York and Pennsylvania. Purolite has requested that these regulators conduct a full investigation into Citrin’s professional negligence and take all actions warranted by its conduct, including revoking the licenses of Citrin Cooperman and the named individuals.
Brodie continued, "To add insult to injury, Citrin concealed their failure to file our returns, while continuing to work with us and pretending that they had fulfilled all filing obligations. Furthermore, since our discovery of Citrin’s malfeasance, they have blatantly and repeatedly dissembled and hid the information we need to belatedly file the returns in question – which has exacerbated our damages. We had no other choice but to bring this matter to court and to the licensing boards in the hope that no other company will be subjected to the nightmare we have been forced to deal with."
Founded in 1981, Purolite Corporation is a leading manufacturer of quality ion exchange, catalyst, adsorbent, and specialty resins. Headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania with 40 sales offices in more than 30 countries, the company has ISO 9001 certified manufacturing facilities in the USA, China and Romania and operates dedicated R&D centers in the USA, China, Romania, Russia and the UK. Purolite has pioneered the development of these technologies in adsorption, catalysis, condensate polishing, metals removal & recovery, nanoparticle milling, softening and demineralization. Key industries include hydrometallurgy, metals plating, pharmaceutical, potable and groundwater, power, semiconductor and sugar & sweetener. Please visit www.purolite.com for more information.
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