Contrary to reports, DOJ will continue probe of UBS Swiss bank account holders

Earlier this year we reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission had filed an enforcement action against UBS AG, claiming that UBS aided U.S. citizens in the avoidance of taxes by maintaining secret bank accounts in Switzerland and other foreign countries.

UBS agreed to turn over the names of nearly 300 of its Swiss bank account clients, but balked at the U.S. government request to turn over the names of another 52,000 U.S. bank customers. Earlier this week, The New York Times reported that the Department of Justice was considering dropping its attempt to obtain access to the 52,000 names.

On Tuesday, a Justice Department spokesman said, "There is no basis for the report in The New York Times.... While the department is always willing to consider settlement in any case, the suggestion that the department is planning to drop this suit is simply untrue."

A hearing is scheduled for July 13.

In a related story, last week The Wall Street Journal reported that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced that the U.S. and Switzerland had reached an agreement to share information on potential tax evaders. Details of the agreement have not yet been released, and the potential still exists for the Swiss parliament to reject the deal or for Switzerland to initiate a referendum on the subject.

The U.S. Treasury has indicated that any negotiation going forward with the Swiss government, no matter the outcome, will not undermine the civil suit against UBS AG and the attempt to gain information about the 52,000 bank clients and potential tax evaders.

Related article:


Already a member? log in here.

Editor's Choice

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Nov 24This webcast presents basic principles of revenue recognition, including new ASU 2014-09 for the contract method. Also, CPAs in industries who want a refresher on revenue accounting standards will benefit.
Dec 3The materials discuss the concepts and principles in the AICPA’s new special purpose framework.
Dec 8Kristen Rampe will cover how to diffuse the tension in challenging situations in this one-hour webinar.
Dec 9A key component to improving your firm’s workflow efficiency while enhancing your profitability at the same time is how you leverage emerging technologies.