Legal News

Ex-Bechtel Lawyer Acquitted in Tax Case
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

After an hour’s deliberation, an Oakland, California jury acquitted former Bechtel global tax manager Mark Muntean on charges that he caused the company to file a false tax return. Federal prosecutors argued that Muntean, an attorney, knew a research and development credit claimed by Bechtel was improper, but filed it anyway.

Muntean’s lawyer, John Youngquist, countered that his client trusted subordinates to give him complete information, but they did not. Bechtel corrected the error after Idaho tax authorities raised questions.

News of Muntean’s indictment was widely covered in the professional press, leading to fears that the government was trying to criminalize tax advice that turned out to be simple error. Sideman & Bancroft partner Jay Weill, who was the longtime tax chief in the Northern District US Attorney’s Office, said he had never seen a similar prosecution.


Muntean claimed a $3.3 million R&D tax credit for a project in Idaho. But since that project was financed by the government, the company wasn’t allowed to benefit from the credit. As soon as the outside counsel’s investigation found that improper tax credits had been taken, Bechtel voluntarily disclosed the improper credits to the IRS and filed an amended return.

Bechtel brought in Shearman & Sterling partner B. John Williams Jr., former chief counsel of the IRS under President Bush, to do an internal investigation. According to Youngquist, Williams fingered Muntean and turned the contents of his probe over to the government.

Without the Shearman probe, the government never would have focused on Muntean, Youngquist contends, adding that his client may now have a civil claim against the company.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!

After leaving Bechtel, Muntean landed at Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Marmaro. But he had to resign that job once the indictment became public.

San Francisco-based Bechtel is the largest engineering company in the United States, ranking as the nation’s 9th-largest privately owned company.



Transactional Tax Partner with Big Law Experience (100% work from home)


Culhane Meadows is seeking a seasoned tax attorney with at least 8 years of practice in general...

Apply now

Labor & Employment Partner (100% Work From Home)


Culhane Meadows PLLC, one of the largest non-traditional distributed law firms in the country, ...

Apply now

Technology and Outsourcing Partner (100% Work from Home)


Culhane Meadows PLLC is actively seeking an experienced and self-motivated Technology and ...

Apply now


USA-MO-Jefferson City

Attorney position available in the areas of Medical Malpractice Defense, Employment Defense and...

Apply now




Search Now

Junior To Mid-Level Patent Associate Attorney


Doral office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks a junior to mid-level patent associa...

Apply Now

Commercial Litigation Attorney


Lafayette office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks a commercial litigation attorney...

Apply Now

Mid-level Intellectual Property Litigation Associate Attorney

USA-CA-Los Angeles

Los Angeles office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks a mid-level intellectual prope...

Apply Now

Most Popular


To Top