Weil, 54, is set to make an initial appearance today in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he was indicted in October 2008 and later declared a fugitive. His lawyer has said he is innocent. Weil hasn’t entered a plea in the case.
Weil is the highest-ranking banker among about 100 people charged since 2008 by the U.S. in a crackdown on offshore tax evasion. About three dozen foreign bankers, lawyers and advisers were charged. Most are at large. Tax lawyers not involved in the case said they expect Weil to plead guilty, cooperate with prosecutors, and seek leniency at sentencing.
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“The window for his cooperation has shrunk and shrunk and shrunk as the U.S. government has gathered huge amounts of information from UBS and from taxpayers through the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program,” said Hochman of Bingham McCutchen LLP in Santa Monica, California. “What may have been useful five years ago is certainly a lot less useful today.”
Still, Weil’s “only choice is to win at trial or turn over information that the U.S. government doesn’t have,” he said.