US authorities increase scrutiny on Swiss banks

By in

Swiss Banks sign amnesty agreements disclosing tactics, providing US prosecutors with valuable information.
It seems that one or two Swiss banks a week are revealing tactics that were used to help HNWI’s cheat on their taxes, something that would have once been considered unthinkable.

Amnesty agreements were signed by 41 banks in Switzerland with the US Justice Department, banks that were considered to be ‘fortresses of secrecy’. These agreements required disclosing the tricks that have been used to help customers hide their assets, naming bankers and middlemen who enabled them and detailing the flow of untaxed money. Thousands of Americans were prodded to disclose accounts that were hidden from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service).

With the new information given to US authorities, investigators now have the intelligence to attempt to build new cases against institutions and individuals in other countries as stated by Caroline Ciraolo, the Justice Department’s top tax prosecutor. Financial institutions based in Israel and Singapore are possible targets according to Prosecutors and Lawyers.

‘The money is moving out of Switzerland to a variety of jurisdictions. We are following leads and following the cashflow, wherever that leads us.’

– Caroline Ciraolo.

When Switzerland’s biggest bank paid $780 million to avoid prosecution in 2009, a tax evasion crackdown grew and led US authorities to begin criminal investigations for other Swiss banks. The Swiss amnesty programme is a part of the tax evasion crackdown.