Friday, June 20, 2008

A Plea Bargain in Return for Information on the Centuries-Old Secrecy of the Swiss Banking System

Bradley Birkenfeld, a former UBS AG banker, pleaded guilty in Florida federal court yesterday. He was indicted in May for allegedly assisting a billionaire real estate client evade taxes on $200 million held in Swiss and Lichtenstein bank accounts. The most interesting aspect of this case is that federal prosecutors are expected to seek a delay in sentencing for Birkenfeld while they "try to use Birkenfeld's knowledge to pierce the centuries-old secrecy for which UBS and other Swiss banks are known."

Could this be the start of a larger investigation by federal authorities into Swiss banking?

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