Southern District of New York Judge Lewis Kaplan delivered a harsh rebuke to prosecutors Tuesday for pressuring KPMG to cut off legal fees for employees unwilling to cooperate in the largest tax fraud investigation in the nation’s history.

Saying the government “let its zeal get in the way of its judgment” and “violated the Constitution it is sworn to defend,” Kaplan in United States v. Stein, S1 05 Crim. 0888, found that prosecutors had violated the Fifth and Sixth amendments by “causing KPMG to cut off legal fees and other defense costs upon indictment.”

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