A Possible Legal Action May Be Taken by the U.S. Against a Swiss Bank
On 24.01.12, In Legal Industry, by Blake Houser
Authorities in the U.S. are making steps towards a proper legal action against Swiss bank Wegelin & Co. This could very well lead to an indictment of one of the last pure private banks of Switzerland. Among the charges made was that the bank allowed wealthy Americans to evade taxes. This was according to two individuals who possess the knowledge about the case.
A critical stage was already reached in relation to the negotiations on the case. A possible indictment is being looked at although the bank is seeking for a deferred agreement from the prosecution, which altogether would be far less damaging. The outcome of which would largely depend on the manner that prosecutors, which would include both the U.S. Treasury Department and U.S. State Department would be treating the matter, according to the sources.
Wegelin is an old bank founded in 1741, and is considered as one of Switzerland’s oldest. A possible indictment would be adverse to the tradition with regards to banking secrecy. On the other hand, it would be a positive avenue on the crackdown of U.S. on Americans who evade taxes through a Swiss bank.
The U.S. crackdown began in 2007, starting with the investigation of one of Switzerland’s largest bank, UBS Ag. From that point in time, it spread to the whole Swiss banking industry. Many U.S. clients have already been charged. Around two dozen Swiss bankers were also charged.
The spokeswoman for Wegelin, Albena Bjorck, didn’t make a comment during an interview when she was asked whether or not the bank was also considering a possible indictment.