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Cisco CEO John Chambers and the mysterious Harvey L. Armstrong

Did Armstrong purchase a $25 million 5th Avenue duplex in New York City for Chambers?

Mon, 12/12/11 - 6:03am    View comments

As shown below, pistol-packing Cisco CEO John Chambers served on the Board of Directors of myCFO according to the last sentence of the first paragraph of his biography on Wikipedia.

Screenshot of Wikipedia's biography of Cisco CEO John Chambers

John Chambers (CEO) - Wikipedia
Source: Wikipedia

On March 6, 2007 the Wall Street Journal published a scathing story revealing that Cisco CEO John Chambers sat on the Board of Directors of myCFO while it sold, "tax shelters that helped clients shield hundreds of millions of dollars from taxes. Less than two years after myCFO began selling them in 2000, the Internal Revenue Service said they were bogus."

The Journal story also specifically noted that myCFO board director - Cisco CEO John Chambers, "didn't respond to email and phone requests for interviews."

Furthermore, my research has discovered that the current personal finances of Cisco CEO John Chambers appear to be entrusted to Harris myCFO Executive Managing Director - Harvey L. Armstrong, whose signature appears immediately below that of Chambers on this screenshot of an IRS Form 990-PF, page 13:
 

Internal Revenue Service Form 990-PF
Source: Internal Revenue Service Form 990-PF
 

View the email messages sent and received by Harvey Armstrong regarding myCFO tax shelters that were used as exhibits in the deposition of Kevin McAuliffe, a former top accountant at myCFO.

On page 2 of Armstrong's email messages, Graham Taylor is discussed and remarkably according to Wikipedia:

"In 2002, myCFO was implicated in a federal investigation involving questionable tax shelters. In July 2005, the American Arbitration Association ruled against myCFO and its partners for its involvement. On February 13, 2008, a federal trial court delivered a criminal conviction on Graham Taylor, a tax attorney associated with myCFO; Taylor had pled guilty on January 24, 2008 to conspiracy and aiding in the filing of a false tax return. Taylor is formerly of the LeBoeuf Law firm who was used by myCFO selling tax shelter products. The tax accountants and attorneys, including Taylor, convicted in 2008, had been indicted in November 2005, for conspiring to defraud the United States and to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, including tax evasion and assisting in the filing of false tax returns."

The tax shelter product that myCFO was selling was called "Cards," which is an acronym that stands for "Custom Adjustable Rate Debt Structure, each involved an ostensible 30-year bank loan to a foreign party for $50 million to $100 million. MyCFO's client then assumed the loan and, after some complex swapping of collateral, claimed a loss for tax purposes of nearly the full amount of the loan," with the Wall Street Journal reporting:

"The IRS in March 2002 ruled Cards invalid. Largely as a result, myCFO sold its name and client list and liquidated its tax business.

"Review the fairness opinion, written by an outside financial firm for myCFO, when myCFO's client list and some other assets were sold to Bank of Montreal. It includes a history of the deal, including the troubles myCFO had in finding a buyer because of its tax-shelter involvement."

According to the January 5, 2000 Business Plan of myCFO (page 15):

"Vl. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

"John Chambers is the CEO of Cisco Systems, a principal provider of networking solutions for the Internet. He serves as an advisor on presidential candidate George W. Bush's Board of Technology and on the Boards of Directors of Clarify, Inc. and Arbor Software. Mr. Chambers holds a BA, a BS, and a JD from West Virginia University, as well as an MBA from Indiana University."

"VI. MANAGEMENT (also page 15):

"Harvey Armstrong is myCFO's co-founder and the Managing Director of myCFO's Silicon Valley Client Service Practice. Prior to joining myCFO, he was a Tax Partner at KPMG's Silicon Valley personal financial planning practice. His clients represent a broad spectrum drawn from the technology industry, professional services, real estate development and construction, mortgage banking and insurance brokerage industries. For over thirty (30) years, Mr. Armstrong has provided his clients with a full range of financial services, including family and asset protection planning. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants. Mr. Armstrong holds a BS and an MS in accounting from San Jose State University."

Did Harvey L. Armstrong buy a $25 million 5th Avenue duplex for Cisco CEO John Chambers?

950 Fifth Avenue, New York, NYInterestingly, a Harvey L. Armstrong is listed as the "Trustee" in the purchase of a $25 million 5th Avenue duplex in New York City according to the New York Observer:

"The 12-room duplex with sweeping views of Central Park was purchased by the appropriately titled, Park View Trust with a Harvey L. Armstrong listed as trustee."

Other companies that appear owned by pistol-packing Cisco CEO John Chambers and closely associated with Harvey L. Armstrong include JCEP Holdings, LP (page 14 PDF) and Suncoast Investment Holdings (page 15 PDF) as well as Suncoast Management and Flyway Management.

Also, my research revealed that Harvey L. Armstrong is listed as a Manager along with John J. Chambers and Ashley S. Chambers (who appear to be the son and daughter-in-law of Cisco CEO John Chambers) in a limited-liability company called Peninsula Pioneer, LLC.

Finally, Armstrong is listed as the Treasurer and Secretary of a domestic corporation called Chambers Fine Art, Inc. whose President, Lindsay N. Chambers, appears to be the daughter of Cisco CEO John Chambers. Curiously, both Harvely L. Armstrong and Lindsay N. Chambers are also listed as Managers of a limited-liability company called Huxley Investments, LLC.
 


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