Sixteen former employees of accounting firm KPMG have sued to compel the company to advance their legal fees and expenses in connection with a federal probe of an illegal tax shelter scheme.

Jeffrey M. Stein v. KPMG, S106 Civ. 5007, was filed in federal court late Monday. It follows an invitation last month by Southern District of New York Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, who ruled in United States v. Stein, S105 Crim. 0888, that prosecutors had violated the defendant employees’ Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights by coercing KPMG into capping legal fees for the former employees.