Report: Former HP chairman embroiled in $100M legal spat with IRS

Summary:Based on a new report, Ray Lane owes up to $100 million in taxes in a major disagreement (to say the least) with the IRS.


Former Hewlett-Packard chairman Ray Lane has some bigger problems to address beyond his involvement in the Autonomy mess -- at least on a personal level.

According to Bloomberg, the partner emeritus at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is facing down a $100 billion tax bill from the United States Internal Revenue Service.

Much like the Autonomy debacle , this issue is far from straight-forward as there is a dispute brewing about Lane's financial filings.

Here's a summary from the Bloomberg report:

In December, the IRS found Lane, 66, participated in a "sham" tax shelter, generating improperly claimed losses of $251 million to offset income, according to appeal papers filed May 6 in U.S. Tax Court in Washington. Lane argued that the IRS was wrong to say that his partnership, Vanadium Partners Fund LLC, lacked "legitimate business purpose."

Lane stepped down as chairman of HP's board in April. He joined the tech company at the same time as former CEO Leo Apotheker in September 2010.

Apotheker, who replaced then interim CEO Mark Hurd (now president at Oracle), was replaced by the current CEO, Meg Whitman, just one year later .

But during Lane's tenure, things arguably went from bad to worse for HP, including but not limited to the $11 billion Autonomy acquisition that resulted in an $8.8 billion loss for the software unit reported last November.

While Lane remains on the board as a member, Ralph Whitworth, a shareholder activist, is acting HP chairman until a replacement is named.

Topics: Tech Industry, Government, Hewlett-Packard, Legal, Social Enterprise


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider,, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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