Authorities indicted a former UBS banker on charges of helping a real estate billionaire and other clients avoid taxes.
Bradley Birkenfeld, a former director of UBS's wealth management division, along with associate Mario Staggl, owner of New Haven Trust in Liechtenstein, are accused of helping real estate magnate Igor Olenicoff set up a group of secret bank accounts to avoid paying taxes on $200 million of assets.
According to the complaint, the two are accused of creating bogus trusts and corporations to hide the ownership of assets while advising clients to destroy bank records and assisting them with filing false tax returns.
Olenicoff pleaded guilty in December to charges of tax evasion and lying on his taxes. He agreed to pay $52 million in back taxes.
The U.S. and other countries have been investigating tax shelters in Liechtenstein after German authorities paid to obtain computer discs containing identifying information of hundreds of secret bank account holders. The Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission have both been involved in probing the tax shelters.
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