Thursday, June 25, 2009

U.S. says it will continue case against UBS; plea agreement reached with UBS client

The Justice Department issued a statement denying it was considering dropping a high-profile case against UBS AG as reported in The New York Times.

The Justice Department is trying to force the Swiss bank to provide the names of 52,000 U.S. clients suspected of offshore tax evasion.

“While the department is always willing to consider settlement in any case, the suggestion that the department is planning to drop this suit is simply untrue," Justice Department spokesman Charles Miller said in an emailed statement, according to various media reports. "The department is continuing with the case against UBS and will file its brief asking the court to enforce the summons on June 30.”

At the same time, news agencies reported that Swiss Finance Minister Hans-Rudolf Merz said a deal was being discussed.

"I can confirm that efforts are underway," Merz told Swiss radio while in Berlin for a meeting of the Organisation for Co-operation and Economic Development.

In a separate development, a UBS client pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false tax return for tax year 2004. He also admitted that he had failed to file Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBARs) disclosing his UBS bank account for years 2001 through 2007. Sentencing is set for Sept. 30.