Credit Suisse was supposed to report undisclosed offshore accounts belonging to American citizens, in an international agreement to curb tax evasion. They haven’t been following through.
A two-year investigation by U.S. authorities has shown that employees at Credit Suisse have been knowingly aiding their clients in evading paying taxes on earned income and capitol gains. While Credit Suisse is not subject to American law, this is in violation of long-running agreements between the countries, including a plea bargain entered by the bank in 2014.
In a statement released Wednesday, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee pointed to an ongoing and likely criminal conspiracy tied to nearly $100 million in accounts belonging to a family of American taxpayers that the bank did not disclose. It also said Credit Suisse helped another U.S. businessman hide more than $220 million in offshore accounts from the IRS.
Just days before that latest report, Credit Suisse self-reported that they had found almost two dozen accounts worth over $20 million a piece which had not been declared to tax authorities, concealing a total of more than $700 million.
“Credit Suisse got a discount on the penalty it faced in 2014 for enabling tax evasion because bank executives swore up and down they’d get out of the business of defrauding the United States,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, the Democratic chairman of the committee.
“This investigation shows Credit Suisse did not make good on that promise, and the bank’s pending acquisition does not wipe the slate clean,” he said.
“We have implemented extensive enhancements since then to root out individuals who seek to conceal assets from tax authorities,” the Zurich-based bank countered.
“Our clear policy is to close undeclared accounts when identified and to discipline any employee who fails to comply with bank policy or falls short of Credit Suisse’s standards of conduct,” it said.
Credit Suisse really can’t afford the trouble and hit to their reputation right now, with worldwide banking turmoil and the Swiss government pushing to allow rival bank UBS to take over their international accounts.
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