NYT: UBS diamond-smuggling banker gets 3 years - Spear's Magazine

NYT: UBS diamond-smuggling banker gets 3 years

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) A former banker described by prosecutors as the man most responsible for igniting a investigation into rich Americans’ use of secret Swiss bank accounts to evade taxes was sentenced Friday to more than three years in prison.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A former banker described by prosecutors as the man most responsible for igniting a investigation into rich Americans’ use of secret Swiss bank accounts to evade taxes was sentenced Friday to more than three years in prison.

Prosecutors gave Bradley Birkenfeld, a 44-year-old American, credit for voluntarily disclosing illegal tactics by the Swiss banking giant UBS and others. But they said Mr. Birkenfeld initially refused to admit his own misconduct, hoping to collect a cash whistle-blower reward.

“He refused to disclose his own wrongdoing,” said Kevin Downing, senior trial lawyer in the Justice Department’s tax division. “It’s a major problem for us.”

Prosecutors had recommended a two-and-a-half-year sentence, half off the potential maximum of five years for Mr. Birkenfeld’s guilty plea to a single fraud conspiracy charge. Judge William Zloch of Federal District Court decided on a sentence of three years and four months, coupled with a $30,000 fine and followed by three years’ probation.

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