Off-Shore Tax Cheat Prosecutions Made Public ‘Every Couple of Weeks’

September 27, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Government lawyers in the tax division of the U.S. Justice Department are quite busy these days prosecuting wealthy Americans caught hiding money in off-shore accounts to dodge paying taxes.

Armed with hundreds of names of American account holders, courtesy of a recent settlement reached with Swiss banking giant UBS AG, the Justice Department is forging ahead with criminal prosecutions, publicizing new cases, “every couple of weeks.”

In February, the United States obtained names of about 4,450 American holders of secret accounts at UBS AG, stemming from a lawsuit alleging the bank illegally aided U.S. taxpayers to hide funds offshore. The Justice Department is making its way through the list of account holders residing in the U.S.

The government lawyers also plan to pursue criminal cases against U.S. banks that helped its U.S. clients stash funds offshore.

Kevin Downing, a senior attorney in the tax division of the Department of Justice, recently participated in a panel discussion for an American Bar Association tax conference, detailing the government’s efforts to prosecute the tax cheats.

“The folks in the United States that we get information on are obviously the easiest ones for us to pursue,” said Downing.

Downing’s office plans to publicize the department’s successful prosecutions to get the message out. “You can expect a few every couple of weeks,” he said.

Coupled with the uptick in prosecutions, the Justice Department has extended the deadline of a temporary amnesty program by three weeks to October 15, which is an incentive for wealthy Americans with undeclared assets hidden offshore, to turn themselves in to authorities, in exchange for reduced penalties and the avoidance of criminal prosecution.

The Justice Department government has obtained six guilty pleas, to date, with more expected in light of the expansion of the amnesty program.

Source


Comments

One Response to “Off-Shore Tax Cheat Prosecutions Made Public ‘Every Couple of Weeks’”

  1. bowater on September 28th, 2009 8:58 am

    the French and Germans are now preparing papers to serve on the US Gov’t demanding the release of their citizens’ names that have “secret” bank accounts in the USA. “We need the names of those tax cheats” says the German foreign minister, “they need to be taxed in their home country”.
    An unnamed Frenchman with 2 million in a US bank in Deleware said, “I’ll take my money elseware if my government succeeds with this witch hunt” “We pay no taxes in the US on any gains, I’m not willing to pay 60% of my gain in France.”

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