Thursday, October 13, 2011

Julius Baer Financial Advisers in Switzerland Accused of Scheme to Conceal $600 Million

A pair of Swiss bank financial advisers have been charged with conspiring with U.S. clients to hide more than $600 million from the Internal Revenue Service in offshore accounts, prosecutors announced Oct. 11 (United States v. Casadei, S.D.N.Y., No. 11 Crim. 866, indictment unsealed 10/11/11).

In an indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, client advisers Daniela Casadei and Fabio Frazzetto were accused of helping clients evade U.S. taxes by advising them to open undeclared accounts under code names or fictional names. They worked for an institution identified by prosecutors as “Swiss Bank No. 1,” which sources said is Julius Baer Group Ltd.

Casadei and Frazzetto also allegedly advised clients not to worry about U.S. law enforcement authorities because the bank no longer had offices on U.S. soil, the indictment charged. In one case, it said, Frazzetto specifically discouraged a client from making a voluntary disclosure to IRS, telling him not to “panic.” Daniela Casadei and Fabio Frazzetto conspired with more than 180 U.S. clients and others at the bank to hide at least $600 million in assets from the Internal Revenue Service, according to the indictment in federal court in New York and the person, who wasn’t authorized to speak about the matter. The indictment refers to the bank as Swiss Bank No. 1.

“The bank is one of a number of Swiss financial institutions supporting the ongoing tax negotiations between the U.S. and Switzerland and is cooperating with the U.S. government investigation,” Baer said in an e-mailed statement today.

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