Oldest Swiss bank Wegelin to close after admitting aiding US tax evasion

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    Founded in 1741, Wegelin pleaded guilty in court to helping wealthy Americans hide their income in secret offshore accounts

    ... Switzerland's oldest bank is to close after pleading guilty to helping some of the US'srichest people evade paying taxes on at least $1.2bn (750m) which was hidden in secret offshore accounts.

    Wegelin, which was founded in 1741, said it would "cease to operate as a bank" after it admitted it had allowed 100 US taxpayers to hide their money.

    The bank agreed to pay $57.8m in fines and restitution to the US authorities after admitting to conspiracy charges related to helping US taxpayers living overseas evade payments to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for almost a decade.

    Otto Bruderer, a managing partner of the bank, told a New York court: "Wegelin was aware that this conduct was wrong From about 2002 through to about 2010, Wegelin agreed with certain US taxpayers to evade the US tax obligations of these US taxpayer clients, who filed false tax returns with the IRS." ...

    ... US prosecutor Preet Bharara said Wegelin became a haven for US tax evaders by hiding their money in secret offshore accounts.

    Bharara, who was described as the man "busting Wall Street" on the cover of Time magazine, said Wegelin "wilfully and aggressively jumped in to fill the void that was left when other Swiss banks abandoned the practice due to pressure from US law enforcement".

    He said Wegelin's closure and guilty plea was a watershed moment in US efforts to crack down on individuals and banks "engaging in unlawful conduct that deprives the US treasury of billions of dollars of tax revenue".

    "There is no excuse for wealthy Americans flouting their responsibilities as citizens of this great country to pay their taxes, and there is no excuse for foreign financial institutions helping them to do so," he said. ...

    ... US authorities are investigating similar allegations about at least 11 other banks, including Credit Suisse. ...

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013...se-tax-evasion
    aknottedyarn likes this.
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  3. 4 Comments so far...

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    Morals and ethics...something largely missing from the modern financial world today..
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    Wegelin states that they will[COLOR=#000000] "cease to operate as a bank"

    something about that statement makes me feel uneasy. Why didn't they say "will cease all operation". They were very specific about the bank bit. Feels like they the banking professionals will just regroup and reorganize and operate under another name. [/COLOR]
    BCgradnurse, NutmeggeRN, herring_RN, and 2 others like this.
  6. 2
    Quote from kalevra
    Wegelin states that they will[COLOR=#000000] "cease to operate as a bank"

    something about that statement makes me feel uneasy. Why didn't they say "will cease all operation". They were very specific about the bank bit. Feels like they the banking professionals will just regroup and reorganize and operate under another name. [/COLOR]
    thats where the lack of morals and ethics reappears...
    BCgradnurse and herring_RN like this.
  7. 0
    Its sad how we know this is gonna happen again, but were not actively doing any significant actions to nip it in the bud.

    As for morals and ethics, the financial sector is run by capitalists. Capitalists are apex predators. They do what it takes to win regardless of morals or ethics. It is how their profession works from the very first day.

    In the short run capitalism creates competition among groups which drives innovation. The problem is that the way you win in a capitalistic economy is by dominating the market and owning it all. At which point competition no longer exists because you have destroyed the other companies or assimilated them into your company. Capitalism is about domination.


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