Swiss Banker Held by U.S.

February 21st, 2011
in econ_news

credit suisse EconintersectThe New York Times, Financial Times and World News  have reported the the U.S. Department of Justice has arrested and is holding in custody Christos Bagios, a senior private banker with Credit Suisse.  It is reported that the charges are conspiracy and fraud in his dealing with wealthy Americans seeking to avoid taxes.  It is possible that the cooperation of Mr. Bagios will be sought to bring more pressure on the bank to cooperate or settle for alleged misdealings.  It is also possible that Bagios could be key in bringing charges against U.S. citizens who sought to illegally avoid taxes.

Follow up:

Mr Bagios is the head of Credit Suisse’s Relationship Management West Coast group, a private banking unit that is part of Credit Suisse Private Advisors.

Credit Suisse Private Advisors is based in Zurich and sells investment and wealth management strategies to affluent individuals, families and institutions. It is registered both with the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and with FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. It is not known if the SEC is investigating the bank.

Prior to early 2009, Bagios was associated for 15 years with private banking activities at UBS.  There is no information at present about any possible further investigation of UBS.  However, there is history of action against UBS.  From the Financial Times:

In 2009, the US Department of Justice and Internal Revenue Service reached a landmark deal with UBS in which the Swiss bank agreed to pay $780m and turn over thousands of client names.

More than 23 UBS clients have been charged for allegedly engaging in tax evasion schemes; many of them have pleaded guilty.

In December, Renzo Gadola, the first UBS banker to be charged since the settlement, admitted to conspiring to help wealthy US clients evade paying taxes. Mr Gadola worked at UBS from 1995 to 2008.

 According to the Financial Times, the arrest took place abotu two weeks ago as Mr.Bagios was entering the U.S.  He is reportedly being held in South Florida.  The World News reports that the arrest took place in New York and the South Florida location is in Ft. Lauderdale.   

Sources:  The New York Times, Financial Times  and World News









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