The Justice Department just recently announced its latest catch: Peter Amrein, a Swiss citizen and former asset manager at a Swiss asset management firm. Mr. Amrein pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the IRS, to evade federal income taxes, and to file false federal income tax returns. By way of his allocution during the plea hearing, Mr. Amrein acknowledged entering into an agreement with U.S. taxpayer-clients and others to help U.S. taxpayers hide millions of dollars in offshore accounts from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and to evade U.S. taxes on the income earned in those accounts.

The allegations in the superseding Information and the prior indictment lay out the sordid details. Mr. Amrein started out as a client advisor at a Swiss bank (Swiss Bank No. 3), later working his way up to an asset manager at a Swiss asset management firm (the Read More

Owning a portfolio of offshore assets can be a headache thanks to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). FATCA requires both U.S. citizens and foreigners living in the U.S. to make extensive disclosures about overseas holdings on their tax returns or face stiff penalties. Foreign financial institutions also must report more detailed information on income earned by their U.S. account holders, or face possible U.S. tax penalties.

FATCA is the culmination of a three-year campaign by Washington to combat offshore tax evasion. It has its genesis in a 2009 settlement with UBS AG where the Swiss bank agreed to turn over to the U.S. the names of more than 4,000 U.S. taxpayers with hidden offshore accounts. Read More

An 83-year-old Florida man pleaded guilty this week to hiding at least $1.1 million from the IRS in secret Swiss and Israeli bank accounts for over a quarter century.

Bernard Kramer held the secret accounts from 1987 to about 2012. He used the code phrase “Hot Lips” when referring to them in conversations with Swiss bankers in Zurich according to a criminal filing in Manhattan federal court.

Mr. Kramer pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of tax perjury. As a condition of his plea agreement, Mr. Kramer agreed to cooperate with government investigators and to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $588,042 along with past due taxes. He potentially faces a maximum eight-year prison term — five years for conspiracy Read More

Picture this. You have an offshore account with a Swiss Bank that, for whatever reason, you haven’t gotten around to reporting on your U.S. tax return or on a FBAR. One morning, as you are sipping your coffee and checking your email inbox, you come across an ominous email from your Swiss Bank.

The subject line of the email immediately grabs your attention. It reads: “Important Information for U.S. Persons.”

You open up the email and read the first three paragraphs:

“We have identified you as the beneficial owner of an account that is subject to FATCA. Participating foreign financial institutions such as ours are required to identify and report Read More

The United States Justice Department has received 106 requests from Swiss entities to participate in a settlement program aimed at ending a long-running probe of tax-dodging by Americans using Swiss bank accounts according to a senior US official.

We first posted “Swiss Banks Agree to Plan to End Past US Tax Evasion Issues!” on August 29, 2013, where we discussed that Swiss banks were ready to pay hefty fines for sheltering United States tax fugitives under the terms of a new deal given the green light by the Swiss government.

Kathryn Keneally, a senior official of the United States DOJ’s tax division, said the department was ‘gratified’ by the response to the offer, although it does not expect that all Read More

We originally posted “Was Raoul Weil the Ex-UBS Banker Your Banker?” where we discussed that an Italian judge ruled on Tuesday, October 22, 2013, that Raoul Weil, the ex-UBS banker wanted in the United States over allegations of helping Americans dodge taxes, must remain in custody while awaiting possible extradition to the U.S.

Now the former head of UBS’s wealth management division, Raoul Weil, has agreed to be extradited to the United States to face charges. United States authorities issued an international arrest warrant for Weil in early 2009, just months after he was charged with allegedly conspiring to help 17,000 American clients of Swiss bank UBS avoid taxes.

Weil is currently in jail in Italy, where he was arrested while on holiday with his family five Read More