“Swiss banks will probably settle a sweeping U.S. probe of offshore tax evasion by paying billions of dollars and handing over names of thousands of Americans who have secret accounts, according to two people familiar with the matter.”
Uncle Samaclaus has his own list of names. The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away! Ho! Ho! Ho!
“The U.S. crackdown against offshore tax evasion has led to charges against UBS AG (UBSN), the largest Swiss bank; at least 21 foreign bankers, advisers and attorneys; and at least 36 U.S. taxpayers. UBS avoided prosecution in 2009 by paying $780 million, admitting it fostered tax evasion and handing over details on 250 secret accounts. It later disclosed another 4,450 accounts.”
Last night I posted the article on Chazen setting up Noble Energy as an offshore company in order not to pay taxes, on Mayor Kitty Piercy’s Facebook. Uncle Samaclaus de Rougemont has come to take from the rich and give to the poor!
Hardy! Har! Har!
Uncle ‘Red’ Samaclaus
If approved by shareholders, Noble expects the change of the place of incorporation to be effective as soon as practicable following review and approval by the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands, which could occur in early 2009. The reincorporation would be achieved by merging Noble Corporation, the current Cayman Islands parent company, with a newly formed Cayman Islands subsidiary of the new Swiss parent company.
Noble Corporation’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, David W. Williamssaid, “After careful consideration, our Board of Directors has concluded that a change of place of incorporation to Switzerland is in the best interests of Noble’s shareholders and customers. Switzerland’s stable commercial and financial environment and its well-established tax regime will help us to maintain our competitive position in the global marketplace.”
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Swiss banks will probably settle a sweeping U.S. probe of offshore tax evasion by paying billions of dollars and handing over names of thousands of Americans who have secret accounts, according to two people familiar with the matter.
U.S. and Swiss officials are concluding negotiations on a civil settlement amid U.S. criminal probes of 11 financial institutions, including Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN), suspected of helping American clients hide money from the Internal Revenue Service, according to five people with knowledge of the talks who declined to speak publicly because they are confidential.
Switzerland, the biggest haven for offshore wealth, wants an end to new U.S. probes while preserving its decades-old tradition of bank secrecy, the people said. The U.S. seeks data on Americans who have dodged U.S. taxes and a pledge by Swiss banks to stop helping such clients, according to the people. The Swiss reached accords this year with Germany and the U.K. on untaxed assets.
“The Swiss would like to get out of this by paying money, and they’ve done that with other countries,” said tax attorney H. David Rosenbloom of Caplin & Drysdale Chartered in Washington, who isn’t involved in the talks. “For the U.S., it’s not primarily a money question. It’s a matter of making sure the laws apply fairly among taxpayers.”
The Swiss government seeks to outline a final accord for the Foreign Affairs Committee of its Parliament’s upper house on Nov. 10, according to a person familiar with the matter. The number of banks that will pay to resolve the U.S. negotiations may extend beyond the 11 under criminal investigation, the people said.
“We are aiming for an all-encompassing solution that will apply to all the banks,” Finance Minister Eveline Widmer- Schlumpf said in an Oct. 4 interview in the Swiss capital Bern. “We don’t want to be confronted with the same issues time and again.”
Under accords this year with Germany and the U.K. on untaxed assets, the identity of clients remained secret. The U.S. insists that the Swiss disclose client account data, and the banks may end up handing over data on 5,000 to 10,000 accounts, the people said. A final determination hasn’t been made, they said.
The Justice Department also may bring criminal charges or civil enforcement actions against any of the 11 financial institutions. They could avoid prosecution by separately paying fines, admitting wrongdoing and disclosing data, the people said. On Aug. 30, the Justice Department requested statistical data from the 11 about their U.S. accounts, which the U.S. has received and is analyzing, the people said.
Credit Suisse, the second-biggest Swiss bank, said July 15 that it was a target of U.S. prosecutors. On July 21, seven Credit Suisse bankers were indicted on a charge of conspiring to help U.S. clients evade taxes through secret accounts.
The group of 11 also includes HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA), the biggest European bank, Basler Kantonalbank, Wegelin & Co., Zuercher Kantonalbank, and Julius Baer Group Ltd. (BAER), the people said. Three Israeli banks — Bank Leumi Le-Israel BM (LUMI), Bank Hapoalim BM (POLI), and Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank Ltd. (MZTF) — are on the list, as well as Liechtensteinische Landesbank AG and an asset manager, NZB AG, according to the people.
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