U.S. Tax Probe Goes to Asia

February 27th, 2011
in econ_news

International trade Econintersect:  Last week GEI News reported on the U.S. detention of Credit Suisse banker Christos Bagios for alleged involvement in schemes to avoid U.S. taxes.  On February 23, The New York Times reported that four Credit Suisse bankers had been indicted, charged with conspiracy and fraud in connection with their banking duties.  The four, Marco Parenti Adami, Emanuel Agustoni, Michele Bergantino and Roger Schaerer, were also linked by the NY Times article to two smaller Swiss banks, Bank Frey and Maerki Baumann, and to Bank Leumi, the big Israeli bank.  An article today (February 27) at the Financial Times reveals that the U.S. tax evasion probes are not restricted just to Switzerland and Israel.

Follow up:

Asian banks are now reportedly under investigation.  From the Financial Times:

The broadening of the investigation follows advice given by Swiss bankers, concerned at an initial probe into UBS, who allegedly told clients to shift assets to banks in other countries rather than report them to the US.   

“Many of the Swiss bankers simply told their clients that they should move their money to other secret accounts,” said David Garvin, a criminal tax attorney in Miami representing account holders. He said the US government had made clear it was “going after any bank it knows to be a problem”.

The Asian bank specifically mentioned in the Financial Times article is  China Merchants Bank.

In all of the investigations and indictments mentioned in this article there are no reports that the banks themselves are being investigated, just individuals affiliated with the banks and working with high net worth individuals. 

Sources:  GEI News, New York Times and Financial Times

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