At a time when the deficit is exploding we need everyone who owes taxes to pay them. Hiding money in a Swiss Bank account has long been a tax avoiding scheme for the very rich while working class Americans pay their taxes. It’s about time this practice was brought to light and the perpetrators prosecuted. I hope that once the names are released by UBS the media will release those names and the holders of the accounts are prosecuted for tax evasion.
By James Vicini
WASHINGTON, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Swiss banking giant UBS AG (UBSN.VX) (UBS.N) agreed to pay $780 million and identify certain U.S. customers in a deal to resolve criminal fraud charges that it assisted rich American clients evade taxes, the Justice Department said on Wednesday.
It said that Switzerland’s largest bank has entered into what is known as a deferred prosecution agreement on charges of conspiring to defraud the United States by impeding the U.S. tax collection agency, the Internal Revenue Service.
UBS acknowledged that it helped U.S. taxpayers open accounts that concealed their identities from the IRS, the department said.
It said about 17,000 of 20,000 U.S. cross-border clients concealed their identities and the existence of their accounts, with $20 billion in assets, from the IRS.
Some of these clients are unindicted co-conspirators.
In an unprecedented move, UBS, under orders from Swiss market regulators, agreed to immediately provide the U.S. government with the identities of, and account information for, certain United States customers, the department said.