(Apr. 13, 2011) Original post: The AP just fell for a hoax press release, which claimed that GE would repay the government the $3.8 billion tax loss carryforward it received.
The hoax was designed to correspond with last month's controversy originated by the New York Times about how GE, despite its huge profits, was paying no taxes.
The fake press release titled GE Responds to Public Outcry -- Will Donate Entire $3.2 Billion Tax Refund to Help Offset Cuts and Save American Jobs was posted at a site called http://www.genewscenters.com/.
It's a pretty sophisticated fake, since genewscenters.com is just one letter off from genewscenter.com, where GE actually hosts its news.
The AP then ran this:
Facing criticism over the amount of taxes it pays, General Electric announced it will repay its entire $3.2 billion tax refund to the US Treasury on April 18.
GE uses a series of foreign tax havens that the company says are legal and that led to an enormous refund for the 2010 tax year.