Paris: HSBC paid US$352 mln to avoid trial for tax fraud

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HSBC paid US$352mil to avoid trial for tax fraud whereby the bank was accused of helping French clients evade EUR1.67 Bil from Tax authorities according to a close source. This deal is first in France under a new procedure that went through the dismissal of suspected corruption or tax fraud by negotiating a fine to stop such cases from going to trial. But it does not deduce as guilty plea just dropped off the case. HSBC is believed to have offered customers ways to hide assets from taxman via offshore tax havens. HSBC was first accused of failure in a supervisory role over private banking division in which led to suspected fraudulent practices. The case started from “Swissleaks” scandals by stolen files from ex-employee, Herve Falciani – French-Italian national, after which he was sentenced to 5 years jail in Switzerland. The leak files spark the investigation by tax authorities of several Europeans countries.