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Tax Shelter Sham Hits Former Chairman of $HPQ With $100M Tax Bill

“Ray Lane, former chairman of Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) and partner emeritus at venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, is in a dispute with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service that has left him with a $100 million tax bill.

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.”

The Tax Court wrangling comes amid a series of career setbacks for him. He stepped down as Hewlett-Packard’s chairman in April after less than three years. Investors were dismayed with his oversight of the computer maker’s $10.3 billion purchase of software maker Autonomy Corp. The acquisition later had to be written down.

That same month, he scaled back his role at Kleiner Perkins, becoming a partner emeritus. The following month, he left the board of Fisker Automotive Inc., the struggling electric luxury carmaker he backed while at Kleiner Perkins….”

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