Tax and Accounting Correspondent
Lynnley's Feed
Jan 4, 2012

U.S. charges 3 Swiss bankers in tax evasion case

By Lynnley Browning

(Reuters) – Prosecutors accused three Swiss bankers on Tuesday of conspiring with wealthy U.S. taxpayers to hide more than $1.2 billion in assets from tax authorities, and sources briefed on the matter said the three worked for Wegelin & Co, one of Switzerland’s oldest private banks.

The office of the Manhattan U.S. Attorney said in a statement that the indictment charges the bankers with trying to “capture business lost by UBS AG and another large international Swiss bank in the wake of widespread news reports that the Internal Revenue Service was investigating UBS” in 2008 and 2009.

Dec 28, 2011

New U.S. tactic for suspected Swiss bank tax cheats

By Lynnley Browning

(Reuters) – U.S. authorities hunting in Swiss banks for suspected tax cheats have a new weapon in their arsenal: an arcane but aggressive legal maneuver more commonly used against drug smugglers, money launderers and Imelda Marcos, widow of the Philippine dictator.

Backed by court judges, federal prosecutors are issuing subpoenas — official papers which compel the recipients to provide potentially damning evidence — to United States taxpayers suspected of holding hidden accounts at Swiss and other offshore banks, according to criminal defense lawyers whose clients have received the papers.

Dec 9, 2011

China reverse merger pioneer looks at ‘go private’ route

SINGAPORE/NEW YORK, Dec 9 (Reuters) – The group that
helped pioneer backdoor U.S.-listings for Chinese companies has
a new business proposition for its former clients — advising on
how to reverse a reverse merger.

This weekend Tim Halter, chief executive of reverse merger
specialists Halter Financial Group, will chair a gathering in
the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, which includes a
conference titled: “U.S. Capital Market: Survive, Go Private and
Beyond”.

Dec 7, 2011

U.S. indicts client of UBS, cantonal bank in tax case

By Lynnley Browning

(Reuters) – U.S. authorities have indicted another U.S. client of Swiss banking giant UBS AG in a case that sheds new light on the role of a major Swiss cantonal bank in enabling tax evasion by Americans.

Amir Zavieh, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Iran, was charged late Tuesday with fraud and conspiracy by federal prosecutors in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Nov 18, 2011

Ex-UBS banker turned songbird pressures Swiss banks

MIAMI, Nov 18 (Reuters) – A light sentence handed down on
Friday for a former top UBS private banker who became a U.S.
government informant on wealthy American tax cheats ramps up
pressure on the Swiss banking industry.

Renzo Gadola, who worked at Swiss bank UBS AG from
1995 to 2008, received five months’ probation from a Florida
federal judge and a fine of $100. He had cooperated extensively
with U.S. authorities conducting a wide-ranging criminal
investigation of scores of Swiss banks.

Nov 9, 2011

Oldest Swiss private bank to offer US client names

Nov 9 (Reuters) – Clariden Leu AG, with roots that make it
Switzerland’s oldest private bank, has begun telling certain
U.S. customers suspected of offshore tax evasion that it will
disclose their names to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, with
the help of Swiss authorities.

The move by the Zurich-based bank, whose parent is Credit
Suisse AG , marks a watershed in the battle
against Swiss banking secrecy. Credit Suisse acknowledged on
Tuesday a Reuters report that it had mailed out its own
letters, on its own letterhead, to certain U.S. clients.

Nov 8, 2011

Exclusive: Credit Suisse will disclose names of U.S. clients

By Lynnley Browning

(Reuters) – Credit Suisse AG, Switzerland’s second-largest bank, has begun notifying certain U.S. clients suspected of offshore tax evasion that it intends to turn over their names to the Internal Revenue Service, with the help of Swiss tax authorities.

Credit Suisse’s notification by letter, a copy of which was obtained on Monday by Reuters, says the handover of names and account details will take place following a recent formal request for the information by the IRS.

Nov 3, 2011

Exclusive: Swiss offer US tax deal for all Swiss banks

By Lynnley Browning

(Reuters) – The government of Switzerland has proposed a multibillion-dollar settlement with U.S. authorities over allegations that it helped wealthy Americans avoid billions of dollars in U.S. taxes, according to sources briefed on the matter.

The proposed civil settlement, put forward in recent months by Swiss authorities to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, would cover all banks in Switzerland, numbering about 355, sources briefed on the matter said. It could reach $10 billion or more, said a source briefed on the matter.

Nov 3, 2011

Swiss offer US tax deal for all Swiss banks-sources

3 (Reuters) – The government of Switzerland has
proposed a multibillion-dollar settlement with U.S. authorities
over allegations that it helped wealthy Americans avoid
billions of dollars in U.S. taxes, according to sources briefed
on the matter.

The proposed civil settlement, put forward in recent months
by Swiss authorities to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service,
would cover all banks in Switzerland, numbering about 355,
sources briefed on the matter said. It could reach $10 billion
or more, said a source briefed on the matter.

Oct 12, 2011

Corrected: U.S. accuses 2 ex-Baer bankers of aiding tax evasion

By Lynnley Browning

(Reuters) – U.S. prosecutors on Tuesday indicted two former private bankers with Julius Baer on charges of selling tax evasion services to wealthy Americans, drawing yet another Swiss bank into the crosshairs of the U.S. Justice Department amid a widening crackdown on offshore tax evasion.

While the indictment of the two bankers, Daniela Casadei and Fabio Frazzetto, did not name their employer and referred only to “Swiss Bank #1,” that bank is Julius Baer, according to a person briefed on the matter.