Thursday, December 31, 2015

Two More Banks Obtain NPAs under DOJ Swiss Bank Program (12/31/15)

On December 31, 2015, DOJ announced that 2 more banks have entered NPAs under the DOJ program for Swiss banks, here.  The penalties, aggregating $107,261  million are:

Bank Lombard Odier & Co Ltd
$99.809 million
DZ Privatbank (Schweiz) AG
$7.452 million

Interesting excerpts (emphasis supplied by JAT):
A Zurich-based law firm (the Zurich firm) and a Zurich-based lawyer (the Zurich lawyer) referred U.S.-related accounts to Lombard Odier with aggregate assets under management of over $63 million.  The Zurich lawyer was the accountholder and had signature authority and/or power of attorney over all of the U.S.-related accounts that he referred, and was also a director of the Panama corporation that was the accountholder of one of those accounts.  In some instances, the Zurich firm and Zurich lawyer operated in cooperation with a U.S. lawyer in New York, New York.  The Zurich firm and Zurich lawyer referred 13 accounts to Lombard Odier that the U.S. lawyer – or that person’s friends or family members – beneficially owned.
* * * *
Credit Suisse personnel also provided advice to DZ Privatbank personnel related to clients’ potential participation in the IRS’s offshore voluntary disclosure programs (OVDP) to DZ Privatbank personnel.  For example, in or about April 2011, a DZ Privatbank relationship manager who had learned that some legal advisors were recommending a “quiet OVDP” filing sought the views of a Credit Suisse relationship manager on that topic and was informed it was “really dangerous,” tantamount to “giv[ing] [the customer] the rope (to hang themselves),” and should never be recommended.
The banks will be added to the IRS's Foreign Financial Institutions or Facilitators, here.  As indicated in the last quoted paragraph, accountholders in the listed banks joining OVDP after one of their banks are listed will be subject to the 50% penalty in OVDP (provided that they do not opt out, in which case, who knows).

Here are the updated statistics for the Swiss Bank Program:

US DOJ Swiss Bank Program
Number Resolved
Total Costs
   U.S. / Swiss Bank Initiative Category 1 (Criminal Inv.) *
   U.S. / Swiss Bank Initiative Category 2 **
   U.S. / Swiss Bank Initiative Category 3

   U.S. / Swiss Bank Initiative Category 4

Swiss Bank Program Results


* Includes subsidiary or related entities counted as separate entities, so the numbers may exceed the numbers the IRS and DOJ posted numbers which combine some of the entities.

** DOJ says original total was 106 but that it expects about 80 to complete the process.

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