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A New York state judge has reinstated tax shelter claims against law firm Sidley Austin and German banking giant HypoVereinsbank (HVB) on the ground that a federal deferred prosecution agreement signed by HVB in February presented new evidence of a conspiracy. Investor E. Roger Williams filed suit last year against Sidley Austin and former partner Raymond J. Ruble, as well several other defendants. Williams alleged that they schemed to induce him to participate in a tax shelter subsequently declared illegal by the Internal Revenue Service. In March, a New York trial judge, Bernard J. Fried, threw out Williams’ fraud and conspiracy claims, finding that the plaintiff had failed to allege any misrepresentations with particularity. Williams then moved for reconsideration based on HVB’s Feb. 17 deferred-prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. HVB, which provided financing for the tax shelters, agreed to pay $29.6 million in fines for its role.

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