Thursday, August 9, 2012

Are Whistleblowers Jeopardizing the German / Swiss Appeasement (8/9/12)

There are new reports that a German state has paid a whistleblower with Swiss bank information on German tax cheats.  See Matthias Inverardi, German tax probe prosecutors act on new Swiss data leak (Reuters 8/9/12), here.

Here are some clips from the article
The German state of North Rhine-Westphalia is pursuing tax evaders who secretly stashed cash in Switzerland, prosecutors said on Thursday, after they obtained new bank data from a presumed whistleblower. 
A spokesman for the NRW prosecutor declined to say which bank or banks the latest information came from but the Financial Times Deutschland reported that the towns of Wuppertal and Aachen had purchased two CDs from a whistleblower, including data from UBS. 
The paper said the first disc carried data from Switzerland's biggest bank, including "big names", and that the second disc contained information on a smaller bank.
Senior SPD member Joachim Poss said that buying the tax data was the best weapon to use to combat tax evasion. 
"The purchase (of CDs) is far more effective than a lousily agreed tax deal with Switzerland which is full of loopholes," Poss told Reuters. 
Question, would the IRS be better off to just offer huge rewards to the Swiss bankers (who are, after all, in it for the money anyway)?


  1. Buying the data from thieves might be more efficient, but wouldn't it be illegal to buy stolen goods?

    (Of course its illegal in Germany too. It's just that no one is raising charges. But it has led to all sorts of strange discussions. For example, the state of Baden-Würtemberg "couldn't" buy the data because their lawyers said doing so was illegal. But they have no compunctions against using the stolen data that North Rhine-Westphalia buys.)

  2. In press reports a couple of weeks ago, the bank from which data was stolen was Coutts. Coutts denied that any data was stolen. I don't know how they would be able to tell that no data was stolen.

  3. Laws should be more effective so that things like this will not happen and effect anyone


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