|Path-Breaking UBS Whistleblower Rewarded With Jail Sentence|
National Whistleblowers Center Concerned That The Treatment of Mr. Birkenfeld Will Discourage Future Whistleblowers
Washington, D.C. August 21, 2009. Today whistleblower Bradley C. Birkenfeld was sentenced to 3 years and 4 months in prison for assisting a client at UBS to evade taxes. Mr. Birkenfeld on his own initiative blew the whistle on UBS, Switzerland's largest bank. His disclosure and cooperation with U.S. authorities provided inside information into the bank's conduct and began the dismantling of the historic secrecy of Swiss banks. In fact by blowing the whistle, Mr. Birkenfeld's disclosure directly led to a ground-breaking legal settlement in which UBS agreed to pay $780 million in fines and UBS and the Swiss Government have agreed to turn over the names of thousands of Americans suspected of tax evasion.For media coverage and background information on Bradley Birkenfeld click here.
Dean A. Zerbe,
former tax counsel to the Senate Finance Committee where he was the key
staffer for writing the IRS
tax whistleblower laws and now NWC Special Council, released the
following statement on Mr. Birkenfeld's sentence: "It stuns me that the
reward for a whistleblower who shined the light on extensive tax fraud
and corruption is being sent to jail. Without Mr. Birkenfeld coming
forward, the U.S. would not be where it is today in cracking open
secret Swiss bank accounts"