Thursday, September 21, 2023
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Swiss Bank Coughs Up $58 Million

MANHATTAN (CN) - The Swiss bank Wegelin & Co. will pay $58 million for helping people hide $1.2 billion in secret accounts, federal prosecutors said.

Wegelin & Co. pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiring to help U.S. citizens and others hide more than $1.2 billion from the IRS, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Wegelin agreed to pay $20 million in restitution, a $22 million fine, and another $15.8 in fees it earned on undeclared accounts of U.S. taxpayers, or dodgers.

Wegelin agreed in April 2010 to forfeit another $16.2 million from a correspondent bank account, prosecutors, bringing Uncle Sam's total haul to $74 million.

Wegelin managing partner Otto Bruderer entered the guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff.

It's "the first time that a foreign bank has been indicted for facilitating tax evasion by U.S. taxpayers and the first guilty plea by a foreign bank to tax charges," prosecutors said in the statement.

Wegelin, founded in 1741, is Switzerland's oldest bank.

On Wednesday, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said that his office had collected more than $3.5 billion in forfeitures and seizures in 2012.

Nationwide, U.S. Attorney's Offices collected $13.1 billion forfeitures and seizures last year - more than six times the appropriated budgets for the 94 U.S. Attorney's Offices around the country.

Bharara noted that that rate of return was better than the best hedge fund.

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