Four Credit Suisse bankers have been indicted on conspiracy charges today — they’re accused of helping wealthy American clients hide up to $3 billion in assets from the IRS, the AP reports.Arrest warrants have been issued for all of the bankers — three of whom are Swiss, one is Italian — who prosecutors allege are part of a conspiracy that dates back decades, to 1953.
Details on the case are scarce, but we assume these bankers themselves are not guilty of alleged crimes dating back to the 1950s, though they may have carried on a crime that started that long ago.
This is a huge deal in the Department of Justice’s ongoing fight against international banks that they believe are providing shady tax havens to U.S taxpayers, because it’s the first time that UBS hasn’t been implicated in a major criminal investigation connected to this issue.
Without a doubt it is that Swiss bank that has been the object of the DOJ’s affections with regard to aiding and abetting tax cheats.
Today though, these four Credit Suissers were charged, and yesterday news broke of Credit Suisse banker who was arrested upon arrival in the States a few weeks ago. We assume the cases are connected.
The names of today’s indicted bankers are:
- Marco Parenti Adami
- Emanuel Agustoni
- Michele Bergantino
- Roger Schaerer
The indictment alleges that all four men discouraged their clients participating in the Obama administration’s, which offered people a chance to avoid criminal prosecution if they came clean about secret offshore accounts and paid a fine:
In the fall of 2008, Credit Suisse began exiting the U.S. cross-border banking business, and the bankers advised clients to transfer their accounts to other Swiss banks that did not operate internationally and were therefore not subject to anything but Swiss law.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Italian Marco Parenti Adami has been with Credit Suisse since 1983. He is part of the bank’s senior management, and has headed up the unit responsible for North American clients for many years.
According to the AP,
The indictment alleges that as of late 2008 Credit Suisse was maintaining thousands of secret accounts for U.S. customers with as much as $3 billion in assets.
Credit Suisse itself is not charged in the indictment. But the indictment states that bank officials “knew and should have known that they were aiding and abetting U.S. customers in evading their U.S. income taxes.”
Credit Suisse is cooperating with American authorities; whether or not the Swiss government will cooperate with the prosecution and turn the four bankers over for extradition is another matter. And if history repeats itself, Bern rarely extradites its citizens to face the criminal courts of another nation.