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Trading and Investment Terminology

Yield Burning

Yield burning was an illegal practice of underwriter marking up the price of bonds to reduce the yield on bonds. By this amount of tax is reduced which is incurred on fixed income investments. With yield burning major Wall Street U.S. municipal bond dealers cheated the government of United States. Yield burning is a practice which violates federal tax laws. Investors were earning a given yield on fixed income investments and using yield burning activities to evade the tax obligation incurred on that investment. It is an illegal and unethical practice. Yield burning is also known as burning the yield. Yield burning activities are done once the bond is placed in the escrow account for an investor who is awaiting repayment. People who are involved in yield burning activities have the risk of incurring major penalties, fines, and other punishments from federal government especially from Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Yield burning scam was initially exposed in 1994 by whistleblower Michael Lissack. Michael was an investment banker and worked with several companies. He filed a whistleblower lawsuit against 20 Wall Street banking firms. The lawsuit was related to the actions covered under False Claims Act. According to Michael these firms engaged in yield burning practices by selling securities at the price above fair market value to state and local agencies or entities. These banking firms were keeping the money which they should have to pay to the federal government in liabilities. It was a huge amount which the companies are keeping illegally. This amount also represents the significant loss of revenue to the IRS and Treasury department of U.S. when Michael Lissack objected on yield burning practices; he was fired from the job.

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