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Swiss Private Bank Banque Pictet admits to conspiring with US taxpayers to hide assets and income in offshore accounts

WASHINGTON, USA – Swiss private bank Banque Pictet et Cie SA admitted Monday, December 4, 2023, to conspiring with US taxpayers and others to hide more than $5.6 billion in 1,637 secret bank accounts in Switzerland and elsewhere and to conceal the income generated in those accounts from the IRS.

As part of [today’s] resolution, Banque Pictet entered into a deferred prosecution agreement and agreed to pay approximately $122.9 million to the US Treasury. [Today’s] resolution is one of a series of cases by the Justice Department in connection with its investigations since 2008 into facilitation of offshore US tax evasion by foreign banks. The case has been assigned to US District Judge Edgardo Ramos for the Southern District of New York. 

“[Today], Banque Pictet et Cie admitted to actively helping US taxpayers use coded accounts, foreign trusts and entities, nominee beneficiaries and other deceits to conceal their income and assets abroad,” said acting deputy assistant attorney-general Stuart M. Goldberg.

“For this criminal conduct the bank will be paying nearly $122.9 million in restitution, disgorgement of fees and a financial penalty, and is required to fully cooperate with investigations relating to these secret accounts.”

“As it has admitted [today], Banque Pictet knowingly conspired to conceal from the IRS the income generated by accounts which held more than $5.6 billion,” said US attorney Damian Williams for the Southern District of New York.

“Thanks to the hard work of the career prosecutors of this Office and our law enforcement partners, Banque Pictet has agreed to pay more than $122.9 million and will continue to cooperate with the Department of Justice. Rooting out financial malfeasance remains a priority for this office, and we encourage companies and financial institutions to come to us to report wrongdoing before we come to you.”

“This case should provide a clear message to others who try to hide their assets and income offshore. Our special agents are experts in following the money, and they are the best at uncovering schemes that try to defraud the US tax system,” said IRS criminal investigation chief Jim Lee.

“Offshore tax evasion is a priority for IRS Criminal Investigation, and today’s deferred prosecution agreement with Bank Pictet collects more than $120 million owed to the US government.” [ …]

Bank enters into a deferred prosecution agreement for criminal misconduct and agrees to pay more than $122.9M

If Banque Pictet continues to comply with its agreement, the United States has agreed to defer prosecution of Banque Pictet for a period of three years, after which time the United States will seek to dismiss the charge against Banque Pictet.

Acting deputy assistant attorney for criminal matters General Stuart M. Goldberg of the justice department’s tax division, US attorney Damian Williams for the Southern District of New York and Chief Jim Lee of the IRS criminal investigation made the announcement.

Acting deputy assistant attorney-general Goldberg and US Attorney Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation.

Senior litigation counsel Nanette Davis of the tax division and assistant US attorneys Daniel G. Nessim and Olga Zverovich for the southern district of New York are prosecuting the case.



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