US Justice Dept indicts UBS executive for tax fraud

Losses and Lawsuits

WASHINGTON, DC - The US Justice Department has announced a federal grand jury indictment of Raoul Weil, former chairman and chief executive officer of global wealth management at Swiss bank UBS. He faces charges of aiding tax fraud by helping US taxpayers to avoid income taxes on assets held in overseas accounts.

Weil led UBS's international wealth management division until 2007, taking on the role in 2002 and being appointed to the banking group's executive board in July 2005. Before that, Weil held several positions in the bank's private banking unit, which had a presence in New York, Basel, Zurich and Monaco.

The 13-page indictment accuses Weil and other UBS bankers of using encrypted laptops and other counter-surveillance techniques to assist rich US clients in concealing their identities and $200 million in offshore assets from the US Internal Revenue Service. Bankers subordinate to Weil routinely travelled to and from the US discussing Swiss bank accounts with current and prospective clients. The Swiss bank, stricken by almost $48 billion in writedowns since the onset of the credit crisis, says it is co-operating with US investigators and has ceased offering offshore private banking to US customers.

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