UBS Whistleblower Gets Out of Jail

“Bradley Birkenfeld, the former Geneva-based UBS AG banker who exposed the powerful bank’s practice of helping wealthy U.S. citizens avoid paying taxes by hiding their assets in secret offshore accounts, phony trusts, and straw companies, was released from federal prison on Wednesday. He served 30 months of a 40-month sentence. Birkenfeld pled guilty in 2008 to helping one of his clients, California real estate billionaire Igor Olenicoff, commit tax fraud. (Last April, Olenicoff’s suit against UBS for leading him astray was thrown out of federal court.)

Prior to his arrest in 2008, Birkenfeld brought evidence to the Department of Justice, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations that UBS had for many years encouraged the bankers in its private banking division to travel to the United States to troll for wealthy clients at special VIP events (some sponsored by UBS). The bankers would then help those clients avoid U.S. tax-reporting requirements by arranging for them to open undeclared accounts with UBS, offering them the protection of Swiss banking secrecy.”

Original article byDavid Rosenbaum – | US
August 2, 2012

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