Sunday, November 2, 2014

Mizrahi Tefahot Bank U.S. Banker Acquitted (11/2/14)

A  Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd. banker has been acquitted of conspiracy, the only charge against him.  See David Voreacos, Ex-Mizrahi Octogenarian Banker Acquitted at Tax Trial (Bloomberg 11/1/14), here.  Key excerpts:
Prosecutors claimed Baravarian helped clients who opened accounts in Israel, didn’t declare them to the IRS and accessed money through loans from the Los Angeles branch. 
Six taxpayers testified as government witnesses, including three who pleaded guilty and two who avoided prosecution by entering an IRS disclosure program. On cross-examination, all six admitted they didn’t conspire with Baravarian to cheat on their taxes, defense attorney Marc S. Harris said. 
“These taxpayers did what they did on their own, and they didn’t pay taxes on their accounts,” Harris said. “Dr. Baravarian had nothing to do with that. The linchpin of the case was that the loans were fake, and they were a mechanism to access that money. Dr. Baravarian helped people get legitimate loans for legitimate purposes.”
Thanks to Dave Wolf for calling this to my attention.

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