|Grant Clemency to Bradley Birkenfeld!|
Today is also the day that President Obama can fix this injustice by issuing a full presidential pardon or commuting Mr. Birkenfeld's sentence to time-served immediately. Mr. Birkenfeld put tax money back in the hands of every American. We must return the favor and demand the he be released from prison.
The Department of Justice admitted that "but for Mr. Birkenfeld" the illegal UBS tax scheme would not have been discovered by the U.S. government. As a direct result of Mr. Birkenfeld's disclosures UBS agreed to pay a $780 million fine, the creation of an IRS amnesty program under which 14,700 people declared illegal secret bank accounts, and the shutdown of the entire $20 billion UBS illegal offshore program.
President Obama has an opportunity today to send a message that the U.S. will protect and encourage whistleblowers in the international banking industry, not destroy them. Tax cheats are still out there, and we will need more insiders like Mr. Birkenfeld to catch them. Issuing a presidential pardon or commuting Bradley Birkenfeld's sentence to time served is absolutely critical to ensuring that the radical chilling effect created by Mr. Birkenfeld's sentence is reversed.
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