Banking firm HVB Group will pay $29.6 million in fines and restitution to avoid criminal prosecution from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, settling charges that it helped wealthy Americans evade more than $500 million in taxes.

The bank was charged with conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service, evade taxes and file false returns. HVB agreed to cooperate with the U.S. Justice Department in its ongoing probe of illegal tax shelters, and entered no plea as part of a deferred prosecution agreement. If HVB doesn't violate the law for 18 months, the charges will be dismissed.

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