NYT: US to prosecute at least 150 UBS clients - Spear's Magazine

NYT: US to prosecute at least 150 UBS clients

Federal prosecutors are building criminal cases against 150 wealthy American clients of the Swiss banking giant UBS as part of a continuing investigation into tax evasion, a person briefed on the matter said Thursday.

Federal prosecutors are building criminal cases against 150 wealthy American clients of the Swiss banking giant UBS as part of a continuing investigation into tax evasion, a person briefed on the matter said Thursday.

Many of the inquiries, which are being handled by dozens of prosecutors around the country, will result in criminal complaints, said this person, who was not authorized to speak publicly. While it is not clear where the government got the 150 names, federal investigators received 285 names from UBS in February as part of a settlement, as well as names from other sources. In February, UBS agreed to pay $780 million to settle charges that it had helped American clients evade taxes on nearly $20 billion hidden in offshore accounts.

 

A day later, the Justice Department filed a civil suit seeking to require UBS to disclose the names of 52,000 clients. Of the names on the agency’s original list, prosecutors are focusing on several thousand Americans with offshore accounts containing tens to hundreds of millions of dollars, the person said.

On Wednesday, the Justice Department and UBS reached an agreement on the disclosure of additional names. Under it, UBS will release the names of clients who fit criteria set by the Justice Department.

A second person close to the matter who also was not authorized to speak for attribution said the criteria included clients who set up offshore entities to evade taxes and those who had contact with Swiss-based UBS bankers, in person, by telephone or by e-mail. Accounts over a certain dollar amount will be included.

The Internal Revenue Service plans to release the criteria next week, but the dollar threshold will not be publicly disclosed, these two people said. The authorities do not want UBS clients whose accounts fall below the threshold to think that they might avoid investigation, the first person said.

To read the full story, visit nytimes.com



 

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