Friday, October 17, 2014

Trial Starts for Former UBS Executive in Tax Fraud Case

The trial of UBS AG’s former chief executive Raoul Weil started this week in Florida. He is accused of helping American clients avoid taxes and conceal $20 billion of US taxpayers’ assets in offshore accounts. Weil is the highest-ranked UBS executive to be prosecuted by the US.

The Swiss banker allegedly helped “black account” holders – American citizens who didn’t want their assets disclosed to the IRS – hide millions of dollars and charged them steep fees for the extra service. Weil and other UBS bankers used multiple credit cards, changed hotels often and avoided electronic communication with clients, claims the prosecution’s star witness, Hans Schumacher, who was a banker at UBS.

The trial is expected to last several more weeks. If convicted, Weil could face up to five years in prison. (Alleged Mastermind of UBS Tax Evasion Scheme Faces Trial)

Friday, October 10, 2014

NJ man sentenced to prison for $65 million tax scheme

A New Jersey man has been sentenced to 17 months in prison for filing more than 8,000 fraudulent income tax returns that sought $65 million from the government. David Pinski and a handful of others conducted the largest and longest running stolen identity refund fraud scheme to have been identified, and resulted in a loss of $12 million to the U.S. government.

Pinski obtained personal identifies of Puerto Rican citizens and used that information to file electronic 1040s. He and his co-conspirators then received the fraudulent tax refund checks, cashed and spent them. Some of the defendants gambled more than $250,000 at casinos, and “resided in a house worth more than $1.6 million” while supposedly working in a grocery store, says an article published by the Cliff View Pilot.

The fraud was discovered because the tax forms were filed electronically from a handful of traceable IP addresses.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Tax whistleblower news summary for week of June 16

The IRS announced changes to its offshore voluntary compliance programs this week, enforcing harsher restrictions on US citizens who deliberately dodge taxes through illegal actions, while easing penalties for citizens who unintentionally evade taxes. The revised programs include a 50 percent penalty on offshore accounts if there is publicity about the IRS or the Justice Department investigating a financial institution where the person holds an account. (IRS Makes Changes to Offshore Programs; Revisions Ease Burden and Help More Taxpayers Come into Compliance)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Tax whistleblower news summary for week of June 2

A U.S. Tax Court ruling this week keeps alive an IRS whistleblower case seeking a $9 million whistleblower reward. The whistleblower claims the IRS recovered $30 million as a result of information the whistleblower provided to the IRS. (United States Tax Court, Whistleblower 10949-13W)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Tax whistleblower news summary for week of May 19

Credit Suisse has agreed to pay $2.6 billion to the U.S. government, the highest fine ever paid in a criminal tax case by a bank. Credit Suisse pleaded guilty to helping U.S. taxpayers file false claims and evade taxes. Credit Suisse admitted to destroying documents and setting up fake accounts to help U.S. citizens avoid taxes. Another story: “Credit Suisse Fined $2.5 billion After Pleading Guilty to U.S. Tax Charge.”

The U.S. Tax Court will allow three IRS whistleblowers to remain anonymous as they appeal IRS decisions about their rewards. Two of the whistleblowers are allowed to maintain the seal on their complaints -- meaning their identities aren’t publicly known – because the judge agreed their fear of physical repercussions is justified. The third whistleblower argued that his identity should remain confidential to prevent financial retribution by the defendant. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tax whistleblower news summary for week of May 12

Credit Suisse, which has been under investigation by the Department of Justice, may pay up to a $2 billion fine to resolve charges of tax evasion. (Reuters)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Tax whistleblower news summary for week of May 5

A former Credit Suisse employee pleaded guilty to helping wealthy American clients hide untaxed income in Swiss bank accounts. U.S. authorities continue putting pressure on Credit Suisse to plead guilty to the same charges. (Reuters)

The IRS is investigating Caterpillar Inc.’s overseas transactions that saved the company over $2 billion in taxes from 2000 to 2012. (Bloomberg)