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IRS Crackdown on Tax Evasion Leads Swiss Banker to Enter Guilty Plea

Offshore Account Update

Posted on August 26, 2016 |

Many U.S. citizens opened offshore Swiss accounts because of the strong privacy laws in Switzerland that were supposed to help these accountholders keep their identities confidential and their information from the Internal Revenue Service. Unfortunately, the Swiss privacy laws turned out not to have really provided much protection at all. As the IRS and Department of Justice have begun aggressively cracking down on banks and bankers, many are entering into plea deals that often involve giving up information on their clients.

One banker, for example, recently plead guilty of facilitating tax evasion between 2002 and 2009. The banker worked for Credit Suisse AG and oversaw a portfolio of American accounts which, at one time, had an aggregate balance of around $700 million.

Among many things, this 48-year-old banker has been accused of convincing U.S. accountholders that their identities could be concealed. The fact is, however, that his bank entered into a plea deal, paid a $2.6 billion fine and gave up information on accountholders. The banker is now also providing details to the IRS of the steps he allegedly took to facilitate tax evasion, and two of his co-defendants also entered guilty pleas.

With banks and bankers giving the IRS and DOJ extensive details on offshore accounts, as well as on how tax evasion was facilitated, every accountholder should be very nervous if they have any undeclared offshore funds. A Boston tax evasion attorney can help those who are worried their information may be turned over and can provide assistance to accountholders who are already facing an investigation.

Swiss Bankers Caught in IRS and DOJ Crackdown

The 48-year-old Swiss banker who recently agreed to plead guilty to facilitating tax evasion has been considered a fugitive since 2011. He is a citizen of Italy and a resident of Switzerland, but none of this insulates him from being caught up in the aggressive crackdown by the IRS and DOJ.

He was accused of doing many different things to help U.S. accountholders hide money, which resulted in as much as a $1.5 million loss of revenue to the U.S. government.  For example, he reportedly hid his identity and the purposes of his visits to the United States when he came to meet with clients.

He helped clients conceal their identities on accounts by structuring ownership in those accounts in the names of corporations, trusts, partnerships and foundations. He also structured withdrawals so it would be easier for accountholders to obtain their money and bypass reporting requirements, and he held the mail of U.S. accountholders so it would not come to the United States.

All of the details about how the banker helped U.S. taxpayers hide their identities and access their cash secretly are all coming out, and this information can help the IRS and DOJ as they make further efforts to go after banks, bankers and accountholders.  Those who are worried they could be caught up in the crackdown should consult attorney Kevin Thorn right away to find out what options they have to try to protect themselves.

For a consultation, contact Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner, at ket@thornlawgroup.com or (617) 692-2989

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