UBS, LGT Helped Hide Assets, Evade Taxes, Senate Says (Update1)
By David Voreacos and Carlyn Kolker
July 17 (Bloomberg) -- UBS AG and Liechtenstein bank LGT Group aided rich U.S. clients who wanted to disguise ownership of accounts and evade taxes on hidden assets, a Senate subcommittee said.
UBS, the world's largest wealth manager, hid as much as $17.9 billion for 19,000 Americans who didn't declare assets to the Internal Revenue Service, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said in a report released in Washington late yesterday. LGT, owned by Liechtenstein's ruling family, fostered a ``culture of secrecy and deception'' while assigning code names to U.S. clients, the panel said.
Isn't it nice that banks will bend over backwards for the money of rich Americans?
Senate investigators got help from former UBS banker Bradley Birkenfeld, 43, who pleaded guilty June 19 to helping California billionaire Igor Olenicoff evade taxes. Birkenfeld said he conspired with Liechtenstein banker Mario Staggl, 43, who was indicted with him on April 10.
Staggl is a fugitive.
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Mr. Staggl should contact the Justice Department, post-haste -- it appears that they are actually taking this case seriously, as opposed to domestic ones that are looking into multiple instances of malfeasance and criminal conduct by the Bush Administration, and therefore might actually use the information wisely.
Check out the complete article on Bloomberg (linked at the top of the story). It's an eye-opener.