WASHINGTON, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Several companies are attempting to reach business-related settlements with the U.S. government before President-elect Barack Obama takes office, experts say.
Some lawyers and interest groups have suggested the recent resolution of more than 12 settlements marked an attempt by companies to earn more favorable settlement terms from U.S. President George W. Bush than his incoming successor, The Washington Post said Friday.
"What they obviously are trying to do is take advantage of an administration that's deemed to be more friendly to business," defense lawyer Cono R. Namorato said. "I know of no tax reason for doing it now."
"This is traditionally the time to ram a settlement through because no one notices," Taxpayers Against Fraud spokesman Patrick Burns offered. "Putting it out between Christmas and New Year's is brilliant."
But Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr denied such claims, saying the recent business dealings were nothing out of the ordinary, the Post reported.
"While the department reaches these kinds of agreements throughout the year, it's not unusual for parties to resolve enforcement matters by the end of the calendar year," Carr said.