Seeks Correction of False and Misleading Statements Filed With Court and Investigation into Privacy Act Violations
Washington, D.C. January 5, 2010. Today UBS whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld filed an complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) seeking a formal investigation into incomplete and misleading statements made by attorneys for the Justice Department.
DOJ falsely accused Mr. Birkenfeld of improperly withholding information from the U.S. government. DOJ claimed Mr. Birkenfeld withheld information to protect billionaire Igor Olenicoff, who held monies in an illegal Swiss bank account. Justice Department attorneys made the false statements in open court during Mr. Birkenfeld’s sentencing hearing and on the “public record” during a DOJ interview with 60 Minutes.
The documents filed with OPR today prove that Mr. Birkenfeld did not withhold information regarding Mr. Olenicoff.
They conclusively demonstrate that Mr. Birkenfeld provided under oath testimony before the Senate Permanent Committee on Investigations detailing the illegal holdings of Mr. Olenicoff. This testimony was provided in 2007, before Mr. Olenicoff was indicted, before he entered a guilty plea and before he was sentenced.
Dean Zerbe, National Whistleblowers Center Special Counsel and a co-counsel for Mr. Birkenfeld, added: “The Department of Justice’s decision to send the nation’s top tax whistleblower to jail is bringing joy to the hearts of bankers in Switzerland and to tax cheats everywhere. Senior Justice officials need to take responsibility and explain to the country why Brad Birkenfeld is serving more time in prison then those who actually evaded taxes. The whole basis that the government has used to justify sending Brad to prison for 40 months — that he didn’t come forward about Mr. Olenikoff – does not hold up under the light of the facts. It is the honest taxpayers that are the losers because of Justice’s actions.”
Stephen M. Kohn, National Whistleblowers Center Executive Director and one of the attorneys for Mr. Birkenfeld, stated, “This is an absurd Kafkaesque miscarriage of Justice. The biggest tax whistleblower in history, a man who has already saved the taxpayers over two billion dollars ($2,000,000,000.00) faces 40 months imprisonment, while Government lawyers misrepresent his motives. The taxpayers will be the biggest losers if Mr. Birkenfeld is thrown behind bars on January 8, 2010.”
Mr. Birkenfeld is scheduled to report to federal prison to begin his 40-month jail term on January 8, 2010. The attorneys for Mr. Birkenfeld have requested that OPR conduct an immediate review before Mr. Birkenfeld commences his sentence.