I want to personally warn you of the gross malpractice and professional misconduct committed against my company, Purolite, by our former accounting firm Citrin Cooperman, its co-founder and CEO Joel A. Cooperman, and several of its principals. I am sharing our story so that no other unsuspecting company will be subjected to the nightmare we are experiencing from Citrin’s negligence and malfeasance.

This is a case of extreme bad faith, fraudulent concealment, malpractice, negligent misrepresentation and wholly unethical behavior. The facts as alleged in a lawsuit we filed in Philadelphia speak for themselves:

Beginning in 2007, Purolite entrusted and paid Citrin to prepare and file all necessary state, federal, and local tax returns. We reasonably expected that, as a major accredited accounting firm, Citrin would fulfill those basic duties. We were stunned to discover in 2019 that for many years, Citrin had falsely represented to us that it had completed and filed all required returns with governmental entities. In fact, they never filed our corporate returns for tax years 2013 through 2017 and failed to properly file all necessary tax forms for Purolite’s foreign affiliates from 2010 through 2017. Purolite’s founding partners have consistently paid all of the taxes that Citrin Cooperman advised were owed, including for the years for which Citrin Cooperman failed to file the corporate tax returns.

After we discovered these breaches and confronted Citrin principals, they concealed their failure to file our returns, while pretending that they had fulfilled all filing obligations. When they were finally forced to admit they had not fulfilled their professional responsibilities, they repeatedly dissembled and frustrated our efforts to promptly locate the information we needed to belatedly file the returns in question. A handwriting expert also determined that my signature was forged on certain annual engagement letters with Citrin.

Citrin’s blatant incompetence and extreme bad faith has resulted in our unwitting failure to meet our tax filing obligations and has caused our company to suffer harm, including the need to hire accountants and lawyers to remedy the breach caused by Citrin’s malfeasance.

We have given Citrin ample opportunity to remedy the situation. When confronted with these facts, Citrin has not denied their truth, nor can they. Citrin is now disavowing nearly ten years of their work, as reflected in the personal returns they prepared and filed for my brother and me as recently as 2018. Incredibly, they have also refused to file the missing corporate returns and schedules, leaving us no choice but to file a lawsuit seeking redress.

In hindsight, Citrin’s misconduct should not have been a surprise as it follows a pattern. Citrin has a documented history of professional malfeasance. Another lawsuit against Citrin alleged it failed to file client tax returns and lied about it. Further, an important Citrin partner was convicted of larceny and tax fraud for embezzling nearly $1 million from several clients, two of whom were his close friends. And, as alleged in yet another litigation, the former managing partner of Citrin’s Philadelphia office promoted investment funds to his Citrin clients that were part of a multi-million-dollar Ponzi scheme.

Citrin and its principals have seriously damaged my company and my family, which is why we took legal action and are speaking out to ensure Citrin cannot similarly harm any other clients.

We have also filed complaints against Citrin and several of its principals with the IRS, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) and the State Boards of Accountancy for New York and Pennsylvania. We’ve asked that these regulators conduct a full investigation of Citrin’s conduct and take all actions warranted.

Citrin claims to provide world-class service and “focus on what counts” for their clients, but the reality is they have completely failed to focus on what “counts” for Purolite — the filing of our tax returns. They have not only abjectly failed to meet their professional obligations but also conducted themselves in a shockingly unethical manner. As a responsible businessman, I find their reprehensible conduct and lying to a client to be particularly offensive.

For those who currently engage Citrin, and those who may consider retaining them, be forewarned and BEWARE!

Stefan Brodie
Co-Founder and CEO
Purolite Corp.