Archives: UBS

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“Unclean Hands” Prevent UBS and Birkenfeld from Recovering Damages from Olenicoff for Malicious Prosecution

On July 23, 2015, the Superior Court in Orange County, California, dismissed a lawsuit brought by UBS and joined by whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld against former UBS customer Igor Olenicoff. The suit alleged malicious prosecution arising from Olenicoff’s September 2008 suit against UBS in Los Angeles federal court, which in turn alleged that UBS, Birkenfeld, and … Continue Reading

Singapore Agrees in Substance to FATCA IGA

On May 6, 2014, the Ministry of Finance of Singapore announced that Singapore had agreed in substance on a Model 1 FATCA IGA.  Under the  IGA, Singapore-based financial institutions will report information on financial accounts held by U.S. persons to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), which will in turn provide the information to … Continue Reading

Levin and McCain Urge DOJ to Seek Extradition of Fugitive Swiss Bankers

Bloomberg news reports that on March 18, 2014, U.S. Senators Carl Levin and John McCain wrote a letter urging the Justice Department to seek extradition of about 30 Swiss bankers and others who are charged with enabling offshore tax evasion and failed to appear in federal courts. McCain and Levin, who lead the Senate Permanent … Continue Reading

Swiss Investment Adviser to Plead Guilty to Helping Americans Evade Taxes

Multiple outlets are reporting that on February 26, 2014, Martin Lack, a Swiss investment adviser and former UBS banker, will plead guilty in the Southern District of Florida to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States by helping his U.S. customers evade their income taxes.  This comes on the heels of the February … Continue Reading

Beanie Babies Creator Seeks Probation for $107 Million UBS Account

The Chicago Tribune reports that Beanie Babies creator Ty Warner, who pleaded guilty last year to one of the largest tax frauds in Chicago-area history, has asked the federal court to sentence him to probation. His sentencing is scheduled for January 14, 2014.  In 1996, Warner opened a Swiss bank account at UBS, which held … Continue Reading

IRS and DOJ Losing Patience with Taxpayers with Undisclosed Foreign Accounts

The assistant US attorney general for the Tax Division, Kathryn Keneally, recently indicated that the window for avoiding criminal prosecution related to undeclared foreign accounts may be closing soon.  At a roundtable discussion at the University of Southern California’s annual tax institute, Ms. Keneally indicated that waiting to disclose offshore accounts is extremely dangerous.  If … Continue Reading

IRS Issues Updated Guidance for 2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

On June 26, 2012, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released new FAQ’s on the current Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (“OVDP”) . The IRS opened the current OVDP on January 9, 2012, but, other than announcing the new FBAR penalty of 27.5%, had not issued updated guidance, leaving practitioners and taxpayers to rely on the 2011 … Continue Reading

Careful Attention to Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Cases

Baker Hostetler’s lawyers have handled hundreds of voluntary disclosures through the 2009 and 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Programs (OVDI).  Recently, the IRS has announced a third OVDI, this time with no defined termination date. The OVDI programs provide important protections for those who might face criminal prosecution for unreported income or unfiled informational returns.  The … Continue Reading

IRS Announces A Third Voluntary Disclosure Initiative

The IRS formal program for making voluntary disclosures of offshore accounts and unreported foreign income has been reopened.  This is the third in a series of voluntary disclosure programs announced by the IRS.  This newest program reinstates fixed penalty amounts for taxpayers who agree to amend prior tax returns and pay taxes due and file … Continue Reading

IRS Grants Additional Time To File FBARs

Today, the IRS announced an extension until November 1, 2011 for taxpayers who did not file TD F 90-22.1 (FBARs) forms in prior years.  For those taxpayers who only had signatory authority over a foreign account and did not own the account in 2009 or prior years, additional time has been granted to gather the necessary information … Continue Reading

U.S. Taxpayers Living Abroad – Reduced Penalties To Come Clean

In a bid to encourage U.S. taxpayers living abroad to file U.S. tax returns and FBARs, the IRS has significantly reduced the civil penalties associated with the 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative.  On June 2, 2011, the IRS announced new rules applicable to U.S taxpayers who live outside the United States.  If qualified, taxpayers can file delinquent FBARs (Report of Foreign … Continue Reading

John Doe Summons Granted for US Account Holders at HSBC

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has granted the Department of Justice request to allow the IRS to issue a John Doe Summons on HSBC-India.  The government seeks records of U.S. taxpayers who hold accounts at the bank.  The evidence supporting the court petition suggests HSBC India was engaged in activity that … Continue Reading

More Taxpayers Face Indictments For Undeclared UBS Accounts

Over the last two weeks, the Department of Justice announced a number of indictments and plea agreements involving taxpayers who had undeclaired off-shore accounts.  Several of these cases involved UBS account holders who either failed to make voluntary disclosures in a timely manner or were caught by the IRS prior to any action being taken to come clean.  … Continue Reading