Monday, November 10, 2008

UBS hands over account information on 70 US Citizens (out of 19,000)

This is what it looks like when the shoe drops:
The U.S. government has chipped new holes in the secrecy of Swiss bank accounts, obtaining the names of American clients of the banking giant UBS as part of an investigation into the use of foreign banks to evade taxes.

In an unusual move, the Swiss have turned over information on about 70 UBS clients for use by Justice Department investigators, a source close to the case said.

The Swiss were responding to a Justice Department request for information on Americans who held "undeclared" accounts at UBS in Switzerland -- accounts that they had not revealed to the Internal Revenue Service, the source said.

Meanwhile, criminal investigators have obtained the names of an additional 30 or so American holders of undeclared UBS accounts from other parties, and people with inside knowledge of the bank have been giving federal prosecutors information about UBS's conduct, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the matter's sensitivity.
Justice takes awhile. I'm so glad I keep my money in Nevis. So glad.

How would you like to be a certain Mr. Phil Gramm right about now? The bank Gramm was a lobbyist for has essentially revealed that Gramm was lobbying for an institution used by US persons to hide their money from the US Government. How does that add up to being a patriotic American? Aren't you supposed to be helping America crush Switzerland, sir? And, I may be impolite to say this, but I will anyway. Isn't it a little odd that we're hearing about this nearly a week after Election Day?

Come on, Washington Post--try harder:
The 70 or so names turned over by the Swiss in recent months are far from a full disclosure. According to a July report by the staff of the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, UBS told Senate investigators that about 19,000 Americans held undeclared accounts with the bank in Switzerland.
You mean to tell me that there could be 19,000 Americans who are illegally hiding money in a bank in Switzerland and that that same bank is now giving the Federal government full cooperation?

A whole lot of rather wealthy and influential people just soiled themselves. Expect a run at the dry cleaners.

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