Scorecard of Offshore Tax Crimes: Advisers, Bankers and Lawyers
A mixed success record has been notched up by the US Justice Department when it comes to prosecuting offshore bankers, advisers and lawyers accused of assisting American taxpayers cheat their taxes.
The United States Government, from 2008, has charged 38 individuals, including Swiss bankers like the top three managers of wealth: Julius Baer Group Ltd, UBS Group AG (NYSE: UBS) and Credit Suisse Group (NYSE: CS).
Federal jurors, on November 3, in Fort Lauderdale situated in Florida, acquitted the former UBS head, Raoul Weil, of charges related to the conspiracy of helping a large number of American clients utilize Swiss banking secrecy norms to evade the taxes. Weil was responsible for wealth management and was the top ranked executive to be charged by the American government.
From the 38 named individuals, 25 of them are still answer the court charges and a majority of them are Swiss residents. Seven of them pleaded guilty and two were convicted at trials. Two are waiting for their trail and two of the accused were acquitted.
Raoul Weil: He previously worked as Chief Executive Officer of UBS and was indicted in Fort Lauderdale in November 2008. Weil was declared fugitive in the beginning of 2009 and was subsequently arrested in the latter part of 2013 at Bologna, Italy. He was subjected to trial at Fort Lauderdale, where the jurors acquitted him. The deliberations continued for 85 minutes.
Shokrollah Baravarian: He was a senior vice president of Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd, an Israeli financial institution. He was acquitted by the federal court of Los Angeles in November. The charges brought against him include that he assisted American customers to conceal their assets from Internal Revenue Service. According to prosecutors, Baravarian assisted clients who opened business accounts in Israel, and then did not declare his clients to the IRS. Money was also accessed through loans during this period.
David Kalai: The Chief Executive Officer and founder of United Revenue Service Inc., an American tax preparation service, Kalai was charged in 2012 with assisting clients to avoid taxes by creating undeclared accounts at the Luxembourg branches of Bank Hapoalim BM and Bank Leumi Le-Israel BM.
Nadav Kalai: He was president of the United Revenue Service, and charged in 2012 with assisting clients to avoid their taxes through the setting up of undeclared accounts at the Luxembourg branches of Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi. Nadav Kalai is David Kalai’s son. On December 19, he was convicted by the Los Angeles’ Federal jurors.