3. Since Weil did not testify, I wonder how exactly Weil's attorney got in the evidence that Weil had been advised by lawyers that the business was not illegal. Note that Weil's attorney made the argument to the jury, so presumably there was some factual predicate in the record. This is a variation of the good faith defense -- which is really not a defense but an attack on whether the Government has proved the level of mes rea required for the crime. In most Title 26 tax crimes, that level of mens rea is willfulness -- voluntary, intentional violation of a known legal duty. For the conspiracy charge, that level of mens rea is certainly required if the conspiracy charged is an offense conspiracy to commit a Title 26 tax crime requiring willfulness and, I would argue, something like that even with the defraud / Klein conspiracy. I have discussed the of "good faith" and "reliance on professionals in my Federal Tax Crimes book. The relevant excerpts from the book (as updated) are "good faith," here, and "reliance on professionals," here.In the jury instructions, the Court advised the jury (boldface supplied by JAT):
It is further part of Mr. Weil's defense that this misconduct was in direct violation of UBS' policies and rules, including the U.S. Country Papers, and was done without Mr. Weil's knowledge or approval.
This misconduct was not reported to Mr. Weil and was concealed by those who committed the misconduct.
It is further a part of Mr. Weil's defense that Mr. Weil was also advised by lawyers for UBS that the existence of the U.S. cross-border business, including the non-W-9 business, was agreed to by the IRS and permitted by the QI Agreement and U.S. Tax Law.
Lawyers and subordinates also advised Mr. Weil that the U.S. cross-border business, including the non-W-9 business, was operated in a way that was compliant with the QI Agreement and U.S. Tax Law.
Now, evidence that the defendant in good faith followed the advice of counsel would be inconsistent with the element of willfulness.
Willfulness has not been proved if the defendant, before acting, made a full and complete good faith report of all material facts to an attorney he considered competent, received the attorney's advice as to the specific course of conduct that was followed and reasonably relied upon that advice in good faith.