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Facilitating Tax Evasion: Swiss Banker Enters Guilty Plea With the IRS

Offshore Account Update

Posted on August 26, 2016 |

The IRS and the Department of Justice are aggressively going after banks and bankers who may have played a role in helping people in the United States evade their tax obligations. Swiss banks had a long track record of protecting client privacy, which prompted many U.S. taxpayers to put their money in offshore Swiss accounts so they could hide it from the IRS. Swiss bankers encouraged and aided in efforts to facilitate tax evasion. Now, these banks and bankers are facing prosecution and many are pleading guilty.

Unfortunately for accountholders, the guilty pleas made by banks and bankers often involve providing lots of information to the IRS. Details are being offered to U.S. authorities about who accountholders are and how bankers helped them hide money. This means everyone with offshore funds is potentially at risk of an investigation into their accounts. Before you come under investigation, or if the IRS is already looking at you, you need to consult with a New Jersey tax evasion attorney.

Fugitive Banker Faces Up to Five Years

Another banker has recently agreed to plead guilty to facilitating tax evasion. The banker worked at the American desk of Credit Suisse AG.  Credit Suisse AG has already plead guilty of helping with tax evasion, paid a $2.6 billion penalty and agreed to provide details on offshore funds. Two other co-defendants plead guilty last year as well and were sentenced in March of 2015.  This banker, who has now agreed to plead guilty, is clearly just one of many caught in the IRS and DOJ crackdown.

The banker has been considered a fugitive since 2011, and he will now face up to five years’ imprisonment in the U.S., although he is an Italian citizen and a resident of Switzerland. He will also have to pay fines, penalties and restitution.

The acts of which he is accused vary, but relate to many different steps he reportedly took to try to help U.S. accountholders evade their income tax obligations. For example, he hid his identity when he traveled to the U.S. to meet with clients; he held their mail so it wouldn't come to the U.S.; and he also structured withdrawals to make it possible for accountholders to get their money out of accounts more easily without the transactions coming to the attention to the IRS.

In his role as a banker, he oversaw over a portfolio of American accounts that held as much as $700 million in the aggregate, and he admits that as much as $1.5 million in revenue was lost to the U.S. government because of his actions. He knew that many of the accounts were owned by trusts, nominee tax haven identities, foreign partnerships, foundations, and corporations, and he knew this was done so U.S. taxpayers could better conceal their identities.

As the U.S. government continues to crack down on bankers and banks, more and more accountholders will find that their private information is being provided to taxing authorities. That said, it may be beneficial to speak to attorney Kevin Thorn before you come under investigation so you can explore options for trying to minimize the penalties you could face.

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