Government Cracks Down On Swiss Bankers It Says Helped Hide $1.2 Billion

The government is sick of ultra-rich people hiding funds in Swiss bank accounts to lessen their tax burdens, so it’s gone after three bankers it accuses of responsibility for $1.2 billion worth of such shenanigans. Appropriately keeping with the anonymity of such accounts, the prosecutors didn’t name the bank at which the accused worked.

The Wall Street Journal reports the bankers moved the funds from Swiss bank UBS AG after the U.S. cracked down on the entity for helping Americans hide money. The bankers are accused of going to great lengths to keep the transactions secret, opening accounts in the names of fake offshore businesses to keep things hush-hush, as well as using their personal email accounts to contact customers.

The tax-hungry federal government doesn’t seem daunted by the Swiss banking shell game, and the more success it has in tracking these accounts down, the tougher it will get for those who want to dodge taxes by stashing their money away in secret.

U.S. Charges 3 Swiss Bankers in Tax Case [The Wall Street Journal]

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  1. DrMcFacekick says:

    Aw damn. Now where will I hide my ill-gotten gains?

  2. DevsAdvocate says:

    This is why ‘taxing the rich’ never works. They will always find some way to hide their money. They have enough money to hire attorneys, accountants, money managers to achieve this goal.

    • maruawe says:

      The thing about some of this is that these companies make this money outside the USA and the government want to tax this money because they are American companies ,which is wrong. And the US government does not have the right to tax this money unless it is brought into the USA, But is doing it anyway

      • chargernj says:

        If corporations want to be considered as “people”, than they can be taxed like people. US citizens have to pay taxes even when they live outside the US, why should it be different for corporations?

        • joako says:

          Well that’s the problem. If you earn money outside the US, not brought into the US and spent outside the US why should the US tax it? It’s absurd.

          So is the tax on the poor. IRS standard return for 1099 making less than 20,000 a year? Damn near 50%!!!

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      So we should just not tax them?

      I don’t get your endgame.

      • Yacko says:

        Exactly, not only are they the 1%, but they also get to decide what is fair, and in their case, they will decide as little as possible to none. And they are somewhat beyond the law aided in that endeavor by the legal system. Sweet deal!

      • TuxthePenguin says:

        What he means is “taxing the rich [more]”. In economic thinking, you want to tax those who have little incentive and/or ability to avoid the new tax. The rich rarely fall into that category.

        If you really wanted to make taxes difficult to avoid, it’d be a combination of an flat income tax and a consumption tax…

        • varro says:

          The problem with that line of thinking is that the “flat income tax” will become as riddled with loopholes as the current tax code, thanks to the lobbyists who control Congress.

    • jasvll says:

      Prosecuting murderers who are rich never works…

  3. wren337 says:

    “appropriately”?

    I do not think it means what you think it means

  4. Torgonius wants an edit button says:

    So we are medding in the affairs of foreign countries? The Swiss should be able to run their banking however they wish. The US can make dealing with such entities by US citizens illegal.

    US DOJ and related agencies should be going after those US citizens who use them.

    Oh, but that would be the campaign donors… better chance of Zombie Ed McMahon showing up at my door with a big check than that happening.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      You’re right, we can’t force the Swiss to do anything. Which is why people have gotten away with this for so long. But A) It’s illegal to avoid paying taxes on your income, even if it’s off-shore, and B) The U.S. and Switzerland have entered into agreements to track down these offenders.

      So the U.S. government doesn’t need to do anything with your foreign money, it only needs to prove you have it and are avoiding paying tax. But, the Swiss are now aiding us in this endeavor.

    • cowboyesfan says:

      The US taxes citizens on thier world-wide income, not just income generated within the borders of the US. Some people think that if the work and pay taxes in a Foriegn country, they are exempt. They are not.

      In order to enforce this tax law, the IRS must have access to every bank and financial institution in the world.

  5. tinmanx says:

    I think they should cut the pork off the budgets instead, it’ll probably save 1000x more money than they can recover from these crackdowns.

    • maruawe says:

      This is true— cut the pork balance the budget…… Google money spent by Us government on pork in 2011 — 2010 may be the only one available right now due to accounting practices of the government

    • Cornflakes says:

      I like how you used real numbers and backed them up with hard evidence.

      • tinmanx says:

        I try my best.

        But seriously, it may be impossible to find any hard numbers. Any numbers you see are just guesstimates. There are so many riders that every bill or legislation must be examined.

  6. maruawe says:

    If it wasn’t for the greed of some of the government entities this would not happen. I had offshore accounts for years and used them all the time because I made that money outside of the USA..
    Then I only brought in $10,000 at a time to minimize the tax which I saw as a foreigners tax…
    But I did pay tax on every dime that I brought into the USA but will not pay tax on the rest of that money. and just because I am a citizen of the USA is not an excuse to tax money made in other countries…….

    • RandomMutterings says:

      Well, your actions were not in conformance with U.S. law. U.S. persons have to declare non-U.S. income for tax purposes. They also have to declare non-U.S. bank accounts annually. Other countries (only a few) have similar laws — e.g., France.

  7. Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

    As much as I dislike rich people I have to admit that not all of them are bad. I also dislike them a lot less than I dislike a government prone to stepping on liberty as a means to an end.

  8. CubeRat says:

    New regulations in the US state that banks operating in the US need to report the amount of interest for all foreign nationals or non-citizens living in foreign countries to the Dept of the Treasury. Treasury will then notify the account holder’s country’s tax authority of interest paid to their citizen/resident.

    So the USA is trying to catch tax cheats and assisting other countries in catching their tax cheats. Win-Win …… Sorry to any of you that got caught with accounts you didn’t report. ;-)

  9. smartmuffin says:

    “The government is sick of ultra-rich people hiding funds in Swiss bank accounts to lessen their tax burdens”

    Then lower the rax rate so they won’t want to.

  10. DragonThermo says:

    Oh sure, they crack down on the “productive class” of Americans trying to reduce their oppressive tax bill, but cracking down on Swiss bankers hiding Nazi’s stolen loot.. not so much.

  11. centurion says:

    Maybe they will find the money Corzine “lost”.

  12. smo0 says:

    Ah the Swiss… there a lot of nazi accounts up in there….

  13. MECmouse says:

    Is this where GE hides it’s money? Oh, wait……..