Swiss Bank Helped US Citizens Evade Taxes
Rahn+Bodmer Co., the oldest private bank in Zurich, has agreed to pay US$22 million to settle criminal charges in the United States that it helped U.S. clients hide millions of dollars they kept on offshore accounts, enabling them this way to evade paying taxes, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.
“As Rahn+Bodmer now admits, it aided U.S. taxpayers in evading their tax responsibilities to the tune of more than $16 million,” said Manhattan’s U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss.
“This venerated banking institution knowingly offered banking services that assisted its U.S. customers in evading their tax obligations, and affirmatively schemed to conceal from the IRS the assets and income of U.S. account holders,” she added.
According to the DoJ, from 2004 until 2012 the bank helped U.S. clients open accounts under numbers, pseudonyms, or through foreign registered entities, all with the aim of making it more difficult for U.S. tax authorities to identify their owners.
The bank also agreed to retain statements and other documents in Switzerland rather than send them to the U.S. in an effort to complicate the work of the IRS and other tax auditors.
The nearly 300-year-old financial institution has agreed to help uncover further tax evaders, the DoJ statement said.
The case is far from the first issue Swiss banks have had with financial impropriety.
In the past year, executives at Julius Baer became the chief targets of a probe into laundering Venezuelan State Oil Funds, and agreed to an $80 million settlement for their part in the FIFA corruption scandal.