A federal judge Monday denied accounting firm KPMG’s request for a jury trial over the issue of whether it should advance defense costs to its former employees who are now facing criminal tax fraud charges.

Southern District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, in United States v. Jeffrey Stein, S1 05 Crim. 0888, ruled that the employee claim was for specific performance of a contract. Thus, he said that it was equitable in nature and did not require a jury trial.

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