UBS Tax Crimes Scorecard: Bankers, Clients and Their Enablers

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UBS Tax Crimes Scorecard: Bankers, Clients and Their Enablers
Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) — Bradley Birkenfeld, a key informant in the U.S. investigation of offshore tax evasion at UBS AG, began a 40-month prison term today at a federal facility in Minersville, Pennsylvania.

Since Birkenfeld approached U.S. authorities about UBS’s practices in 2007, seven former UBS clients, including a billionaire real-estate developer, have pleaded guilty. One, former Boeing Co. manager Roberto Cittadini, was sentenced today to six months of house arrest by a federal judge in Seattle.

Below is a summary of the cases against the bank, former UBS clients, and their enablers:

UBS: The Zurich-based bank agreed Feb. 18 to pay $780 million to defer prosecution for aiding tax evasion by U.S. clients. The bank said its Swiss private bankers helped wealthy Americans evade U.S. taxes from 2000 to 2007. UBS also set up sham offshore companies in tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands, Hong Kong and Panama. UBS said it created misleading forms saying those offshore companies, not taxpayers, were the beneficial owners.

Bradley Birkenfeld: A former UBS banker, he pleaded guilty to helping wealthy Americans, including billionaire Igor Olenicoff, evade taxes. He cooperated with prosecutors. He was sentenced Aug. 21 in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to 40 months in prison, 10 months more than prosecutors had requested.

Raoul Weil: A former chief executive officer of global wealth management at UBS, he was indicted Nov. 6, 2008, on a charge of conspiring to help wealthy Americans hide assets from the IRS. He was declared a fugitive by a U.S. court in January 2009.

Hansruedi Schumacher: A former Neue Zuercher Bank manager who once ran the cross-border business for UBS, Schumacher was indicted Aug. 20 in Fort Lauderdale for allegedly helping U.S. citizens evade taxes on UBS and NZB accounts. He was declared a fugitive on Dec. 10.

Martin Liechti: The former head of the UBS cross-border business, Liechti was held as a material witness for several months in 2008. He hasn’t been charged with a crime.

Igor Olenicoff: A billionaire real-estate developer, Olenicoff pleaded guilty in December 2007 in federal court in Santa Ana, California, to filing a false tax return. He failed to declare accounts at UBS, where he once had $200 million in assets. He received two years’ probation and paid $52 million in back taxes, interest and penalties.

Steven Michael Rubinstein: A Florida accountant who worked at an international yacht company, he pleaded guilty June 25 to filing a tax return that failed to disclose secret UBS accounts that held at least $7 million in assets. A federal judge in Miami sentenced him on Oct. 28 to 12 months of house arrest.

Robert Moran: A Florida yacht broker who pleaded guilty April 14 to filing a tax return that failed to disclose $3.4 million held at UBS. He was sentenced to two months in prison on Nov. 6 by a federal judge in Fort Lauderdale.

John McCarthy: A California businessman who pleaded guilty Oct. 20 to a charge of failing to file a tax report for an offshore bank account holding more than $1 million. He is scheduled for sentencing Jan. 28 by a judge in federal court in Los Angeles.

Jeffrey Chernick: A New York toy salesman who pleaded guilty July 28 to filing a false tax return that concealed $8 million in assets at UBS. In his plea, Chernick implicated four others in detailing a $45,000 bribe paid to a Swiss government official. A federal judge in Fort Lauderdale on October 30 ordered him to serve three months in prison.

Juergen Homann: A New Jersey businessman who admitted Sept. 25 in federal court that he didn’t report $6.1 million in UBS assets to the U.S. government. A federal judge in Newark, New Jersey on Jan. 7 sentenced him to five years’ probation.

Roberto Cittadini: A former sales manager at Boeing Co., the resident of Bellevue, Washington, was sentenced in federal court in Seattle today to one year of probation, including six months of house arrest. He pleaded guilty in October to filing a false tax return that failed to report income on $1.86 million in assets.

Mario Staggl: A Liechtenstein investment adviser at New Haven Trust Co., Staggl was indicted with Birkenfeld in federal court in Fort Lauderdale in April 2008 for allegedly helping wealthy Americans evade taxes. He was later declared a fugitive.

Matthias Rickenbach: A Zurich lawyer, Rickenbach was indicted with Schumacher on Aug. 20 in Fort Lauderdale for allegedly helping Americans evade taxes on UBS and NZB accounts. He was declared a fugitive with Schumacher.

To contact the reporters on this story: David Voreacos in Newark, New Jersey, at dvoreacos@bloomburg.net; Carlyn Kolker in New York at ckolker@bloomburg.net.

By David Voreacos and Carlyn Kolker
Last Updated: January 8, 2010 17:04 EST

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