USA Accuses Swiss|Bankers of Conspiracy

     MANHATTAN (CN) – Three Swiss bankers conspired with U.S. clients to hide more than $420 million from the IRS, the United States claims in a criminal indictment.
     The United States charged Stephan Fellman, Otto Huppi aka Otto Hueppi, and Christof Reist with one county of conspiracy. It did not identify the bank, but claims the men were all client advisers.
     The 33-page grand jury indictment claims the men conspired to help 13 clients hide money from the U.S. tax man.
     Fellman is accused of helping clients evade taxes in 2008-09 at “Bank No. 1,” of Zurich, and Huppi and Reist of doing so from 2003 to 2009.
     Fellman, Huppi and Reist manage U.S. taxpayer assets worth at least $104 million, $14.8 million and $5.4 million, respectively, according to the indictment.
     “In furtherance of the conspiracy, Fellman, Huppi and Reist, among other things, advised and helped U.S. taxpayer’s clients to open and maintain undeclared accounts using code names or in the name of sham corporate entities; ensured that mail relating to those accounts was not sent to U.S.-taxpayer clients in the United States; and caused U.S. taxpayer-clients to travel to Switzerland to conduct business relating to the United States,” the indictment states.
     Huppi also is accused to coming to the United States to meet with clients, in furtherance of the conspiracy.
     Their clients used code names to avoid detection, including “Hawkeye” and “Jive,” prosecutors say in the indictment.
     The U.S. attorney accused them of conspiring to obstruct the United States from assessing and collecting federal income taxes.

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