Swisspartners Group, a money-manager in Zurich, has reached an agreement to end a US criminal tax investigation, where it will pay $4.4 million for working in cahoots with American tax-evaders. The US government will not take the company to court as part of the deal, saying Swisspartners was highly cooperative.
The Justice Department and US lawyer Preet Bharara in Manhattan said the deal was reached after Swisspartners willingly provided investigators with information of about 110 US taxpayer customers.
“The extraordinary cooperation of Swisspartners has enabled us to identify U.S. tax cheats who have hidden behind phony offshore trusts and foundations. In this and other cases around the world we will continue to provide substantial credit for prompt and full cooperation,” a statement by Deputy Attorney General James Cole read.
The agreement is part of a wide probe by US authorities to catch taxpayers who avoid their responsibilities by stashing money in secret accounts overseas. Authorities have charged more than 70 US tax evaders while 43,000 more have been spared prosecution after volunteering information on their secret accounts and fulfilling their tax obligations besides paying penalties.
Charges have also been brought against three dozen oversees bankers, lawyers and advisers and 14 Swiss financial institutions are subject of criminal investigations.
Credit Suisse Group is trying to resolve a US tax evasion investigation that could see it pay more than $1 billion in fines. Prosecutors want the parent company to plead guilty, in departure from tradition, Bloomberg reported.
The Swisspartners deal covers four Swisspartners subsidiaries including Swisspartners Insurance Company SPC Ltd. The non-prosecution deal does not protect from prosecution any other Swisspartners entity not named.
IRS-CI Chief Weber is quoted on the US Department of Justice official website as saying he was very pleased that talks with Swisspartners Group were successful. He added that the deal marked another progress towards fighting offshore tax evasion.
To contact the reporter of this story: Yashu Gola at firstname.lastname@example.org
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