Monday, March 30, 2015

Swiss Bank Enablers Get Unsupervised Probation and Relatively Light Fines (3/30/15)

Reuters reports that two Swiss bank enablers, Andreas Bachmann and Josef Dorig, received sentences of unsupervised probation and fines of $100,000 and $125,000, respectively.  Sarah N. Lynch, UPDATE 2-Ex-Credit Suisse bankers spared prison in U.S. tax evasion case (Reuters 3/27/15), here.  (For my prior postings on these defendants, see Credit Suisse Banker Pleads Guilty to Tax Conspiracy (Federal Tax Crimes Blog 3/12/14; 3/13/14) (Bachmann), here, and Another Credit Swiss Related Bank Enabler Pleads Guilty (4/30/14) (Dorig), here.

I have noted before that offshore bank tax cheats seem to get lighter sentences than ordinary tax cheats.  It appears from the Reuters article that this may have been a factor in getting a light sentence for these enablers.  Thus, from the article:
Robert Henoch, an attorney at Kobre & Kim who represented Dorig, said on Friday the U.S. should be focused on prosecuting the Americans who dodged taxes. 
"The system is clearly broken, stacked, and unfair to foreign bankers and trust company officials," he said. 
"(Dorig) was put through a four year ordeal while U.S. nationals committing the object crime of tax evasion were allowed to escape with a fine, without even a slap on the wrist."
Interesting argument.  I have not yet seen the Guidelines calculations.  I will probably post more on this sentencing later.


  1. Jack -
    Thank you for posting about this interesting decision. However, I don't understand why the judge is praiseworthy for this decision but engaged in "shenanigans" when he reached a conclusion with which you disagree in the shelter case. That term - which Merriam-Webster defines as "a devious trick used especially for an underhanded purpose" - is hardly fitting.

  2. Michael J. MillerMarch 30, 2015 at 8:52 PM

    Personally, I generally find the more liberal judges to be the ones who do not own up to the real reasons behind their decisions. For example, while I agree with Roe v. Wade as a matter of legislative policy, I find it to be absurd as a matter of Constitutional intepretation. Perhaps we all pick the examples that, based on our own personal preferences annoy us the most. Policy and politics aside, I believe judges have an obligation to be honest about the bases for their decisions. I'd like elected officials to do the same, but they at least can be unelected and thereby removed from office. Every time a judge reaches a decision based on his or her preferred policy result, without honestly applying the law to be best of his or her ability, our society loses a bit of liberty and moves one small step closer to being a banana republic.

  3. thanks very much


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