Public Practice - What’s Yours is Mine

JJ Wong, a partner in the receivership and trustee area of your public accounting firm Garner Nixon Palm (GNP), has just come into your office to ask a professional favour. He begins by pointing out that the receivership and trustee area is new to GNP and that the firm is still striving to "make a name for itself." He goes on to say that successful resolution of a major bankruptcy that provides a significant return to creditors is a very good way of gaining professional recognition.

JJ continues by telling you that he has just been appointed trustee in the personal bankruptcy of Marge Champion and in the corporate bankruptcies of her several companies. He suspects that Ms Champion has hidden assets from him and thus from her creditors and that she has also illegally taken assets from the bankrupt companies prior to their bankruptcy and has hidden them. JJ indicates that it would greatly enhance his professional reputation and thus that of GNP if he could uncover those hidden assets and illegal transactions.

JJ states that he understands that, although GNP did not do any audits for Ms Champion and her companies, you have provided tax advice tax both to her personally and to her companies for the last several years. He suggests that it would be in GNP’s professional interest for you to let him see Ms Champion’s and her corporations’ tax files so he can determine if there are either hidden assets that were not declared in the bankruptcy documents or assets that have been illegally transferred from the companies’ books.

What should you do?

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