A former banker for the Swiss giant UBS who blew the whistle on the biggest tax-evasion scheme in US history is preparing to head to prison tomorrow to begin serving a forty-month federal sentence. Bradley Birkenfeld first came forward to US authorities in 2007 and began providing inside information on how UBS was helping thousands of Americans hide assets in secret Swiss accounts.
Bradley Birkenfeld first came forward to US authorities in 2007 and began providing inside information on how UBS was helping thousands of Americans hide assets in secret Swiss accounts. UBS pleaded guilty last February and paid a $780 million fine.
Government prosecutors have admitted the massive fraud scheme would probably not have been discovered without Birkenfeld blowing the whistle on UBS. So why is he the only one going to jail?
Want more information? Check out the Wikipedia article about it:
Brad Birkenfeld is an American banker who formerly worked for UBS, Switzerland’s largest bank. He is the first person ever to expose what has become a multi-billion dollar international tax fraud scandal over Swiss private banking. Despite his unprecedented, extensive and voluntary cooperation, and registering as an IRS whistleblower, Birkenfeld is the only U.S. citizen to be sentenced to jail . . . (Source)
UPDATE, as of 1/24/2010, The Swiss will NOT provide data on the UBS tax cheaters:
UBS Client Wins Case on Transfer of Tax Data to U.S. (Update4)
By Joseph Heaven, David Voreacos and Klaus Wille
- TIMELINE-U.S. tax evasion probe of UBS was a landmark (reuters.com)
- Why Is the UBS Whistle-Blower Headed to Prison? (time.com)
- Two Ex-UBS Bankers Accused Of Helping Their Rich American Clients Evade Taxes Since 2000 (UBS) (businessinsider.com)
- U.S. Ends Inquiry of UBS Over Tax Evasion (dealbook.nytimes.com)
- UBS Tax-Fraud Charge Is Dropped by U.S. Prosecutors (businessweek.com)
- Ex-UBS whistleblower hits out at ‘corrupt’ US justice