Did UBS Help Rich Americans Hide Billions Of Dollars In Liechtenstein?

Following up on yesterday’s story about a disgruntled computer technician who turned over the bank records from the LGT Bank of Liechtenstein, ABC News says that UBS Bank may have helped set up the secret accounts and been responsible for hiding as much as $20 billion dollars of U.S. money.

From ABCNews:

In court documents, federal prosecutors say UBS bankers helped set up many of the secret accounts in Liechtenstein and, overall, hid as much $20 billion belonging to US citizens.

“Sums are enormous and UBS appears to have been particularly aggressive in the way they marketed their activities in the US and elsewhere,” said Christensen. “So UBS is extremely vulnerable to losing their license in the US.”

One UBS banker, Bradley Birkenfield, pleaded guilty last month and admitted to smuggling cash and diamonds for Americans trying to hide their wealth from the IRS.

In federal court documents obtained by ABC News, federal prosecutors allege that Birkenfield’s bank trained bankers traveling to the US in “techniques to avoid detection” by law enforcement authorities, “including training bankers to falsely state on customs forms that they were traveling into the United States for pleasure and not business”.

There will be Senate committee hearing tomorrow and ABC says that “among those called to testify are foreign bank account holders, including one of the wealthiest men in Los Angeles,” and that the tax dodgers could face criminal prosecution.

Hundreds of Super Rich Under Investigation [ABCNews]