MIAMI (CN) – A federal judge in Miami granted the U.S. Justice Department’s request to force Switzerland’s largest bank, UBS AG, to produce records identifying U.S. taxpayers who have parked an estimated $20 billion in Swiss bank accounts to avoid paying income taxes.
On June 19, former UBS banker Bradley Birkenfeld pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service by helping clients shield their money from Uncle Sam in Swiss accounts. Birkenfeld said UBS employees helped wealthy Americans set up sham entities, and then filed tax forms falsely claiming the bogus entities owned the offshore accounts.
The summons, issued by U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard, requires UBS to produce records naming taxpayers with UBS accounts in Switzerland who chose to keep those accounts concealed from the IRS.
“We will work hand-in-hand with the IRS to vigorously enforce the tax laws against those taxpayers who use offshore accounts to evade taxes,” said John DiCicco, deputy assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s tax division.