Friday, March 7, 2014

More on Credit Suisse and the Larger SEC Issue for Some Swiss Banks (3/7/14)

I previously blogged on the Credit Suisse SEC fine.  Credit Suisse Take a Hit on U.S. Tax Evasion Business (Federal Tax Crimes Blog 2/21/14), here.  The Wall Street Journal has a good more recent article: Joel Schedman, Broker Dealer Rules Have Teeth Against Swiss Banks (WSJ World 3/6/14), here.  Some f the opening excerpts to get your interest:
Despite stories of unmarked elevators and secret wire transfers, the most damaging charge against Credit Suisse Group AG has been comparatively mundane: as it courted Americans for offshore accounts, the bank failed to register its bankers with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 
Credit Suisse Group AG bankers courted American tax evaders, between 2002 and 2008, schooling them in how to do an end-run around the Internal Revenue Service and hide behind Swiss secrecy rules, according to a 181-page report from the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Beyond just offering American clients undeclared Swiss accounts, Credit Suisse bankers helped set up “shell entities” to “mask their U.S. ownership.” The bankers also offered helpful tips in hiding financial activity, like keeping transactions below a certain dollar amount to avoid triggering greater scrutiny, according to the report. 
Credit Suisse acknowledges the “misconduct, centered on a small group of Swiss-based private bankers, previously occurred at our bank,” according to the bank’s statement submitted to the subcommittee. Bank officials “deeply regret these employees’ actions.” Since 2008, after the allegations came to light, Credit Suisse, “took proactive and decisive steps to ensure that only U.S. clients who established compliance with U.S. tax laws could remain at the Bank,” according to the statement. The bank says it shut down the unit responsible for in 2009. 
Despite the color of the alleged tax evasion, the most painful charge against the bank has been less sexy: As bankers recruited American clients, they failed to register with the SEC. Credit Suisse agreed to pay the SEC $196 million over those charges last month, in a case that bore a striking resemblance to the allegations against another Swiss bank, UBS AG. “It’s Deja Vu all over again,” said John C. Coffee, a professor at Columbia Law School.


  1. IRS...... good agency with good people....... ??
    Jack, I assume this is your personal opinion but I still nevertheless dare to ask :
    do you have any evidence to back up this claim ?!

  2. Jacks claims : 1. "IRS...... good agency with good people......." 2...."the IRS is no worse than the military or any other large government agency...." 3...."you have anything other than ideology -- and perhaps some selected anecdotal instances of bad behavior"....

    IRS Violated Procedures in Trying to Collect from Bankrupt Taxpayers

    The Internal Revenue Service did not always follow established procedures when trying to collect taxes from taxpayers who had declared bankruptcy, according to a new government report.

    The report, from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, found that
    in a sampling of such cases, IRS specialists did not always follow established procedures in 17 out of 30 Chapter 7 cases (that is, 57 percent), 15 out of 30 Chapter 11 cases (50 percent), and 13 (or 43 percent) of the 30 Chapter 13 cases reviewed by TIGTA. Specifically, IRS the specialists did not always properly conduct the initial case analysis in a timely manner, follow up on scheduled case actions within a reasonable time, or properly close cases in a timely way.

    TIGTA also reviewed a random sample of 30 bankruptcy cases with Automated Proof of Claim flag conditions, that is, with errors that need to be resolved by an IRS specialist. In those cases, IRS specialists did not properly resolve the flag conditions, or resolve them in a timely way, in 12 (or 40 percent) of the 30 cases examined.

    In response to the report, IRS officials agreed with all of TIGTA’s recommendations and plan to take corrective actions.

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