Swiss Bank Wegelin & Co Order to Pay $58 Million for Conspiring to Evade Tax

In First-Ever Sentence of a Foreign Bank, Wegelin & Co. Ordered to Pay the United States Approximately $58 Million for Conspiring to Evade Taxes – Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Kathryn Keneally, the Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division of the Department of Justice, announced that Wegelin & Co. (“WEGELIN”), a Swiss private bank, was sentenced today and ordered to pay approximately $58 million to the United States for conspiring with U.S. taxpayers and others to hide approximately $1.5 billion in secret Swiss bank accounts, and the income generated in the accounts, from the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”). 

Together with the April 2012 forfeiture of more than $16.2 million from WEGELIN’s U.S. correspondent bank account, this amounts to a total recovery to the United States of approximately $74 million.  WEGELIN pled guilty in January 2013 to one count of conspiracy to defraud the IRS, file false federal income tax returns, and evade federal income taxes before U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff, who also imposed today’s sentence.   This case represents the first time that a foreign bank has been indicted for facilitating tax evasion by U.S. taxpayers and the first guilty plea and sentencing of such a bank.

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