In her short stint on Criminal Minds, in season 13, Barnes demotes Emily, conducts a tense internal review of the BAU, inserts herself into their investigation, endangers a civilian, and divides the team, assigning several of them to new departments. However, when her meddling nearly causes a senator’s daughter to be killed, the senator steps in to reinstate Emily as unit chief and tells Barnes to leave the BAU alone. She’s framed as power-hungry and more interested in the BAU’s public image than their efforts to save people.
On Reddit, user u/S3RP3NT- started a discussion about Barnes, saying she makes their “blood boil” and “makes Strauss look nice and friendly.” There was universal agreement in the comments, as other users chimed in to rant about how much they hated Barnes. For user u/elmohatescookies, it was her constant undermining of a well-functioning, established team and insistence on blaming them for her own mistake that really got under their skin. “The AUDACITY,” they wrote. User u/blackzapatos echoed these sentiments, adding that Barnes only cared about “making the bureau look good,” and was thrilled when the senator took Emily’s side against Barnes.
It’s hard not to compare Barnes to Strauss, as they both fill the evil boss role, but for Criminal Minds fans, there’s a clear winner. As user u/Natural1forever put it: “Strauss at least had good intentions. Barnes was just a pure a**hole.” Still, there’s a silver lining to be found in Barnes’ character, according to user u/nannyash: Where the fans are often divided over romantic relationships among the characters, Barnes unites the fandom in their hatred. “It’s beautiful to see,” they wrote.
Kansas City, Kansas — The Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI) and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas reminded taxpayers today to file accurate tax returns and choose a tax preparer wisely. The nation’s tax season starts on Friday, February 12, 2021, when the agency begins accepting and processing 2020 tax year returns.
U.S. persons are subject to tax on worldwide income from all sources. Most taxpayers meet this obligation by reporting all taxable income and paying taxes according to the law. However, those who willfully hide income should know that the IRS works across its divisions to ensure the highest possible tax compliance. Taxpayers found to be committing fraud may be subject to penalties including payment of taxes owed plus interest, fines and jail time.
“As we approach the beginning of the tax return filing season, it is important for taxpayers to be careful in selecting the tax professional who will prepare their return. The IRS does not want individuals to become victims of an unscrupulous return preparer,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge David Talcott at the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. “Each year, IRS-CI special agents and the U.S. Attorney’s Office investigate and prosecute return preparer fraud, which includes adding false deductions and credits in order to inflate refunds. This criminal activity affects taxpayers, but has serious consequences for the unscrupulous preparer.”
“We want to remind everyone to work with reputable tax preparers as we enter this filing season,” said U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister. “Tax fraud costs U.S. taxpayers millions of dollars each year, my office will continue to hold those found to be behind these fraudulent claims accountable.”
Tax return preparers are vital to the U.S. tax system. As of tax year 2018, 55 percent of taxpayers used a paid preparer. Although most preparers provide honest and professional services, there is a small number of dishonest preparers who set up shop
during filing season to steal money, personal and financial information from clients. Taxpayers can avoid falling victim to unscrupulous preparers by following important steps.
Tips when choosing a tax preparer:
Look for a preparer who is available year-round in case questions arise after the filing season.
Ask if the preparer has an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), which is required for paid preparers.
Inquire about the preparer’s credentials and check their qualifications.
Ask about service fees. Avoid preparers who base fees on a percentage of their client’s refund or claim to offer a bigger refund than their competition.
Never sign a blank or incomplete return and review it before signing. Refunds should go directly to the taxpayer, not the preparer.
For more tips on choosing a tax professional or to file a complaint against one, visit IRS.gov. Taxpayers who suspect tax violations by a person or business, may report it to the IRS using Form 3949A, Information Referral.
The IRS Criminal Investigation St. Louis Field Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Kansas are committed to protecting Kansas taxpayers from others cheating the U.S. tax system. Here an example of a current investigation that has been brought to justice:
In July 2020, Sonia Hernandez-Smith pleaded guilty to aiding and assisting in the preparation of false returns. She admitted she put false information on her client’s Schedule 8812, which is used to claim the Child Tax Credit. She obtained Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers or ITINs for children she knew did not live in the United States, and whom were ineligible to claim the child tax credit. However, Hernandez-Smith put them as dependents on her client’s tax returns when her clients were not entitled to them. Lastly, she admitted she did this for numerous clients. Her sentencing is scheduled on May 17, 2021.
As the country’s largest law firms continue to grow in size and scope, many are now looking beyond just legal talent to drive their business forward.
Traditionally, law firms have tapped all-star lawyers to leadership roles like managing recruiting or balancing the budget. This strategy was often OK when most law firms had a only few hundred professionals and maybe a few million dollars of business every year.
But as many top law firms have now grown to include more than 1,000 professionals, with the top firms grossing more than $1 billion in annual revenue, they’ve realized that a busy partner — who could already be working 80 or more hours per week and hasn’t gone to business school — might not be the best person to also lead strategic initiatives or manage firm financials. Instead, Big Law firms are now staffing up their c-suites and business departments with people who used to work for prestigious professional services or accounting firms.
A Major, Lindsey & Africa recruiter said in a Colliers report that in 95% of the C-suite searches she conducts, her law firm clients are open to considering candidates who are not lawyers. That same report found that the group of law firm executives “increasingly hails from industries outside of law.”
The talent is flowing in both directions: every year, hundreds of Big Law employees find a new home at a Big Four firm, either to head up an alternative legal service, join the in-house legal team, or move into a nonlawyer role.
New data from Revelio Labs, an alternative-data provider that reviews millions of public employment records — from LinkedIn to immigration filings — with the goal of creating “the world’s first universal HR database,” show that Big Law has been recruiting hundreds of people per year from Deloitte, KPMG, EY, and PwC. In 2020 alone, the top 100 largest law firms by revenue hired 843 professions from Big Four firms.
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Some of these moves come from Big Four alums who went to law school and were then hired as associates. Others are nonlawyers who join a firm’s business side and handle internal operations like strategy, IT, data privacy, sales, finance, marketing, and more.
Tom Clay, a leader at the legal-consulting firm Altman Weil, said that these sorts of hires have been happening for many years now, and they started when law firms realized that if they wanted to improve as a business, they needed specialists to help them determine their pricing structures and practice-group profit margins to maximize profitability.
“The place to go look for that was obviously the Big Four,” he said.
Years later, law firms continue to devote more time and energy to building out their business sides with these types of hires, explained Alisa Levin, co-founder of legal recruiting firm Greene-Levin-Snyder. She told Insider she expects this trend to continue and that Big Four employees specifically are coveted for these new roles because although they deal in a “very different kind” of professional services, they offer a similar level of professional training and client service background that a law firm would.
Law firms have brought on Big Four alums throughout their entire org charts. They’ve hired top-level executives like Christina Burns, Kirkland & Ellis’s senior recruiting and development leader, who joined in March 2020 after a 17-year stint at Deloitte, and Peter May, a former Deloitte partner and chief human resource officer, has been Baker McKenzie’s chief people officer since 2014. They’ve also looked hired in other roles like the former PwC IT professional who now leads Norton Rose Fulbright’s eDiscovery services and the White & Case project manager who used to be a KPMG associate.
The law firms mentioned either declined to comment or did not return requests for comment about their business-side hires and strategy.
The graph below shows the movement to and from law firms from 2010 to 2020.
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“A lot of these hires are actually doing important internal support functions at law firms, as Big Law has gotten only bigger and bigger,” said Jason Winmill, a legal consultant at Argopoint who works largely with corporate legal departments and helps them select outside counsel. “If you need to build out your IT capabilities, firms are just hiring some of the top people from a Big Four firm.”
Levin and Winmill said there has also been a push at some law firms to expand into more consulting and professional services offerings to clients, although the flow of people moving into these roles is much smaller. Paul Hastings, for example, last year hired Deloitte alum BJ D’Avella to head its new life sciences consulting group, which works in tandem with the life sciences legal practice group and reports directly to the firm’s managing partner. And Dentons last year staffed a new crisis communications group headed by former FTI Consulting professionals.
The Big 4 is hiring less from Big Law, but there is still an appetite for lawyers who can help them launch alternative legal services.
Big Four’s hiring from Big Law has been in flux since about 2015, when the industry hired about the same number of people it lost to law firms. 479 people moved from Big Law to the Big Four in 2020, down from an all-time high of 568 people the year before, according to Revilio’s data.
Some professionals moving from Big Law to the Big Four are lawyers joining in-house legal teams or people leaving the legal profession to become consultants or strategists. Others are joining to guide the legal arms of KPMG, Deloitte, EY, and PwC, which differ in focus but by and large on offering digital and automated legal innovation services to existing firm clients.
For example, Deloitte Legal employs 2,500 professionals to offer legal advisory, legal management consulting, and legal managed services to clients, while KPMG’s Global Legal Services describes its role as “strategic advisor” to in-house counsel.
“On the other side of the coin, there are some Big Four firms trying to create legal service offerings with law plus nonlaywer services in a package,” Winmill said, adding that eDiscovery has been big focus for Big Four firms.
If you’re even a casual fan of Criminal Minds, you already know that there are a number of reasons why Morgan took the top spot in our poll. The first is the simple fact that Morgan was introduced on the very first episode of the series and stuck around for 11 consecutive seasons. Out of all the possible choices, he’s the one fans spent the most time getting to know before he left the show.
However, longevity isn’t the only thing that put Morgan over the top. When viewers did get to know Morgan, they often liked what they saw. His friendship with fellow BAU team member Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) is seen by many fans of the show as a platonic ideal. There’s also his dark and troubling backstory, which likely contributed to fans feeling sympathetic for him. There’s also the fact that Morgan is a smooth talker who often has great chemistry and banter with his fellow agents. Whether or not he’s your #1 BAU crush, it’s hard to deny his charms.
Even though Derek Morgan was on Criminal Minds for 11 long seasons, for some fans, it still wasn’t enough.
Fulton County’s DA has opened a criminal investigation into “attempts to influence the administration of the 2020 Georgia General Election,” according sent to the Georgia secretary of state.
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
The district attorney in Fulton County, Ga., has opened a criminal investigation into, quote, “attempts to influence the administration of the 2020 Georgia general election.” That’s according to a letter sent by the DA to the office of Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger. You might remember former President Donald Trump called Raffensperger last month, asking him to find enough votes to overturn the election results and declare him the victor in the state. Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Stephen Fowler obtained the DA’s letter, and Stephen joins us now. Thanks for being here.
STEPHEN FOWLER, BYLINE: Always a pleasure.
MARTIN: So, Stephen, what does this letter say explicitly? Does it mention this Trump call?
FOWLER: So these letters were sent to Governor Brian Kemp, Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan, Attorney General Chris Carr and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, asking them to preserve things like email messages or any sort of records related to the 2020 general election because there is an investigation being opened into attempts to influence the administration of the election. Now, it’s looking into things like potential solicitation of election fraud, conspiracy, racketeering. And while it doesn’t mention Trump by name, there’s a pretty, pretty big chance that I’ve been told from sources that this is about Trump’s call to the secretary of state asking him to overturn the election results.
MARTIN: You actually at the time got a recording of that phone call. Remind us, what was communicated during that?
FOWLER: Well, it was an hour-long call where the president of the United States at the time was asking Georgia’s top election official to find him enough votes to erase about a 12,000-vote deficit and declare him the victor of Georgia’s 16 electoral votes. He pushed a lot of fraud claims that just weren’t true and other conspiracies and things. And Raffensperger, who is a Republican, pushed back on those things and said that Georgia’s numbers were true and correct. In fact, Georgia’s votes were counted three different times, Rachel.
MARTIN: So I don’t have to tell you, Stephen, Georgia has been the center of so much turmoil over election administration, many baseless claims about fraud and irregularities there. How has all of this affected the work of administering elections and the people who do it?
FOWLER: Well, we’ve seen people retire. We’ve seen poll workers say they’re no longer going to work. We saw one election official voluntarily do an audit of the January 5 Senate runoff because he needed his voters to trust that the system was correct. We’ve also seen calls for Secretary Raffensperger to resign. We’ve had elections officials threatened with Internet posts. And now Republicans in the state are enacting a bunch of laws. There are bills that they’re proposing to do to completely change the way we vote in Georgia because they say there was fraud that just wasn’t addressed.
MARTIN: Well, what’s the toll or is there a toll? I should reframe. Is there a toll that this is taking on Georgia’s Republican Party?
FOWLER: Absolutely. You have one wing of the party that is trying to move on and look ahead to a contentious 2022 governor’s race that could decide control of who’s going to control the government for a while. And then you’ve got another wing that’s still holding on to President Trump and his calls for election fraud. And you even had the official state party say that the election just can’t be trusted. So it’s definitely a big intraparty conflict there.
MARTIN: Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Stephen Fowler. Thank you, Stephen. We appreciate your reporting, as always.
FOWLER: Thank you.
(SOUNDBITE OF AND SO I WATCH YOU FROM AFAR’S “THE VOICELESS”)
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