U.S. law allows whistleblowers to collect 30 percent of any taxes recovered as a result of their information, and it seems that one disgruntled computer technician is taking advantage of the program. Meet Heinrich Kieber, a nefarious criminal-type turned “good guy” who will be testifying in front of the “Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations Thursday via a video statement from a secret location,” according to ABC News. Mr. Keiber is from Liechtenstein, a tiny country with very secretive banking laws. He stole banking information that showed how the world’s super-rich were skirting their countries tax laws. Keiber then sold the information to tax authorities in 12 countries, including the U.S, hence the whole “secret location” thing.
Kieber reportedly sold three CD’s full of names and data to tax authorities to 12 countries including Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy and the United States.
Tax authorities in Italy published the full list of names.
In Germany, the disclosures led to the arrests of several prominent CEO’s on charges that had evaded millions of dollars in taxes.
A former UBS private banker, Bradley Birkenfeld, has agreed to a plea deal and is reported to be cooperating with US authorities in bring charges against American citizens on tax evasion charges.
The Liechtenstein bank, LGT, is owned by the tiny country’s ruling family led by Prince Hans-Adam II.
Kieber’s Washington lawyer, Jack Blum, says Kieber should be considered a whistleblower and a hero, not a thief, for revealing how the super rich hid billions of dollars using the Liechtenstein bank.
Whatever you think of thieves (we’re not fond), you have to admit that it takes serious balls to be comfortable pissing off a fairly large percentage of the world’s super-rich and powerful tax evaders.