This one’s a little complicated, so bear with us as we explain it. It’s from a piece Joe Flint has on his LA Times Company Town blog.
As explained in the blog entry, back in 2001, Haim Saban and News Corp., co-owners of the Family Channel, sold it for $5.2 billion to The Walt Disney Co. Saban realized a capital gain of $1.5 billion on the sale, and hired tax attorney Matthew Krane to "minimize his pain," the blog says. Krane in turned contacted a Seattle-based investment firm called the Quellos Group to see what they could do.
The blog says they had a tax shelter plan "which manged to turn Saban’s gain into a loss until the the government jumped in and charged Quellos Group with tax fraud."
Krane received a commission of $36 million from Quellos, the blog says, which was put in an Austrian bank.
Saban, who paid the IRS $250 million to settle charges of tax evasion, then laid claim to the $36 million, which essentially froze it in the bank.
This is the money that Krane filed suit in Los Angeles County Superior Court to get, the blog says.