Sean Roberts and Nadia Roberts of Tehachapi, Calif., were sentenced July 30, 2012 to 12 months and one day in prison for hiding millions of dollars in secret offshore bank accounts in Switzerland and other banks around the world.
The couple was also ordered to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $709,675, and to pay more than $2.5 million to resolve their civil liability with the IRS for failing to file the required Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Reports (FBARs), according to the Department of Justice.
Based on court records, the Robertses filed false individual U.S. income tax returns for 2004 through 2008 in which they failed to report that they had an interest in or a signature authority over a secret Swiss financial account at UBS, which was subsequently transferred to the Swiss branch of a Liechtenstein bank.
They also failed to report several other foreign accounts in the Isle of Man, Hong Kong, New Zealand and South Africa. The couple failed to report any income earned on the foreign accounts and falsely deducted millions of dollars in transfers from their domestic business to the Swiss bank accounts on their corporate tax returns, allowing them to under-report their income on their individual income tax returns.
The couple operated the National Test Pilot School in Mojave, Calif. NTPS is a nonprofit educational institute that trains test pilots from domestic and foreign aerospace industries and governments. They also owned and operated Flight Research incorporated, which owns and maintains most of the aircraft used by NTPS.
In February 2009, UBS entered into a deferred prosecution agreement under which the bank admitted to helping U.S. taxpayers hide accounts from the IRS. As part of their agreement, UBS provided the U.S. government with the identities of, and account information for, certain U.S. customers of UBS’s cross-border business, including the Roberts couple.
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