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.


Interesting Legal Sites You May Like




Search Now

Litigator with 5-10 years of general insurance defense experience

USA-FL-West Palm Beach

Boutique litigation firm is looking for an experienced litigator with 5-10 years of general insuranc...

Apply Now

Transactional Real Estate Attorney with 4-10 years of experience

USA-CA-San Diego

San Diego office is seeking a transactional real estate attorney with 4-10 years of experience.

Apply Now

Real Estate/Business Transaction Attorney with 8+ years of experience


Seattle office is seeking a real estate & business transaction attorney with 8+ years of experience....

Apply Now

Litigation Attorney with 2-5 years of insurance coverage experience


Towson office of our client seeks litigation attorney with 2-5 years of business, insurance coverage...

Apply Now


Contract Attorney

USA-CA-Beverly Hills

We are looking for a civil business litigator with 3+ years of experience who is capable of attendin...

Apply now


USA-CA-San Francisco

As an in-house legal counsel at Wix’s legal department, you will play a significant role in de...

Apply now

Experienced Insurance Defense Attorney Needed


Defense Negligence firm with offices in Nassau County and main office in Suffolk County seeks a full...

Apply now


USA-MO-Kansas City

Successful, expanding KC personal injury law firm seeks an attorney with 5+ years personal injury li...

Apply now

Most Popular


To Top