Monday, February 25, 2008

Stolen Liechtenstein data used in tax-evasion investigations

Data stolen from a unit of Liechtenstein's largest financial group, LGT Group Inc., apparently is being used for a tax-evasion probe by Germany, the Wall Street Journal reported today.

The Journal said that tax authorities in at least five other countries -- the U.S., U.K., France, Canada and Australia -- also are investigating client data tied to LGT. The newspaper quoted U.S. Sen. Carl Levin as saying the bank "apparently harbored numerous secret accounts which hid the taxable assets of thousands" of people around the globe.

Germany paid a former LGT employee about $6.2 million for the data, the Journal said, and hopes to use the data to recover hundreds of millions of dollars in back taxes.