On Thursday the Justice Department announced that it was seeking authorization to get information from HSBC regarding account holders in India that may have evaded paying their taxes.
The government asked a federal judge in Oakland, California, for permission to serve a so-called John Doe summons to “obtain information about possible tax fraud by people whose identities are unknown,” according to the statement. The request comes amid a crackdown by the Internal Revenue Service on offshore tax evasion that focused on UBS AG, the largest Swiss bank, and spread to other banks.
In January, a New Jersey businessman was charged with conspiring with five HSBC bankers to hide his Indian bank accounts from the IRS. The businessman, Vaibhav Dahake, is scheduled to plead guilty on April 11 in Trenton, New Jersey.
“The IRS continues to focus its attention on international tax evasion,” IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman said in the statment. “This summons request is focused on obtaining more information to determine if additional actions are needed.”
Juanita Gutierrez, a spokewoman for HSBC, didn’t immediately return a phone call and e-mail seeking comment.