Thursday, February 24, 2011

4 Bankers Charged with Hiding $3 Billion in Assets from IRS

Four bankers who are part of the Zurich-based Credit Suisse Group were indicted yesterday after allegedly helping American taxpayers cheat the IRS out of $3 billion. Warrants were issued for all four (Marco Parenti Adami, Emanuel Agustoni, Michele Bergantino and Roger Schaerer), who are thought to be in Switzerland.

From Huffington

    Prosecutors allege in the indictment that the conspiracy goes back as far as 1953. The indictment alleges that as of late 2008 Credit Suisse was maintaining thousands of secret accounts for U.S. customers with as much as $3 billion in assets.

    The indictment itself – obtained by federal prosecutors in Alexandria, Va. – does not specify the bank as Credit Suisse, but a law enforcement official with knowledge of the case confirmed the bank's identity to The Associated Press. The official insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the case.

    Public documents unconnected to the case also identify some of the bankers as Credit Suisse employees.

    Credit Suisse itself is not charged in the indictment. But the indictment states that bank officials "knew and should have known that they were aiding and abetting U.S. customers in evading their U.S. income taxes."

    The indictment claims the bankers discouraged customers from participating in a 2009 amnesty program offered by the Obama administration, in which U.S. taxpayers could avoid criminal prosecution if they came forward with information on their secret accounts and agreed to pay a penalty.

    In the fall of 2008, Credit Suisse began exiting the U.S. cross-border banking business, and the bankers advised clients to transfer their accounts to other Swiss banks that did not operate internationally and were therefore not subject to anything but Swiss law.

Read more here

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