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August 19, 2009

UBS tax evasion cases gather pace in the US

by Gill Montia

Story link: UBS tax evasion cases gather pace in the US

US authorities are investigating over 150 clients of Swiss investment bank, UBS, in connection with tax evasion.

The figure has emerged via a document filed in a Florida court which is in the process of sentencing former UBS banker Bradley Birkenfeld, for helping American clients hide their wealth.

US prosecutors began examining the possibility that UBS staff were involved in tax evasion last year and in February the bank agreed to hand over the names of certain customers, at the same time settling a fine of $780.

A further 52,000 names are reported to be in the offing with US tax collectors primed to increase their investigations.

Swiss banks are renowned for their secrecy and recent events in the US have come as a surprise.

However, under Swiss law, financial institutions are not obliged to protect the identities of clients who have been involved in fraud.


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