WASHINGTON (CN) – The United States filed for an injunction Thursday against Swiss bank USB AG, asking it to disclose the identities of the bank’s nearly 52,000 American customers with Swiss accounts. The complaint claims that an estimated $14.8 billion in assets was hidden in these secret accounts as of the mid-2000s.
The United States says the Swiss bank marketed its services to wealthy U.S. citizens and helped set up dummy offshore companies to make it easier for them to duck taxes on income from the accounts.
The lawsuit, in Miami Federal Court, alleges that the bank trained its agents to avoid U.S. detection, and sent them to the United States to meet with U.S. clients nearly 4,000 times per year, in violation of federal law.
“This action sends a strong signal to taxpayers hiding their money offshore,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman, who urges taxpayers to come forward under the IRS’ voluntary disclosure process.