Raoul Weil, who previously served as head of UBS (UBS)’s Global Wealth Management division, has pleaded guilty to fraud conspiracy charges related to a US tax investigation probe involving the Swiss bank. Weil, 54, is accused of conspiring to help thousands of American citizens hide $12 billion at the bank.
Until his arrest last year, Weil was listed as a fugitive in the United States. In federal court in Florida, he was allowed a $10.5 million bond. His first court hearing will be in December. He has until February 12 to reverse his plea to guilty. If convicted, however, he could end up in prison for conspiracy to commit tax fraud for up to five years.
Weil was indicted because of information that UBS whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld provided to the US Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service. The latter, also a former UBS banker, has since been awarded $104 million for helping the federal government start an international crackdown on tax evasion that wealthy Americans had been engaging in for decades through Swiss banks.
Birkenfeld, 47, gave prosecutors details about how UBS engaged in tax evasion and even confessed to engaging in errand running for rich clients. In 2009, the bank settled with the US for $780 million to resolve a criminal case over secret offshore accounts. UBS also turned over the names of over 4,000 US taxpayers who were account holders.
Since Birkenfeld’s whistleblower case, over 33,000 US taxpayers have admitted to keeping undeclared accounts overseas and they have had to pay over $5 billion in penalties and taxes. Birkenfeld, who pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the US was sentenced to 40 months. (A US law allows the IRS to pay up to 30% to a whistleblower for exposing wrongdoing—convicted felons are not precluded from this benefit.)
Puerto Rico Bond Fraud
In other UBS news, the bank has been embroiled in trouble over municipal bonds sold by its UBS Puerto Rico unit. Investors are now flocking to securities lawyers to file securities claims and lawsuit alleging municipal bond fraud that has even cost some of them their life savings. Many say that UBS brokers told them not only to get involved in UBS Bond funds, including the Tax Free Puerto Rico Fund II, but also, these financial representatives recommended that they borrow funds either via a margin account or more traditional methods so that they invest even more money in these proprietary funds. Now, it is these municipal bond fund investors who must deal with the financial losses.
Our Puerto Rico bond fund lawyers represent investors that invested in muni bonds through UBS, Banco Santander, and Banco Popular. Contact Shepherd Smith and Edwards and Kantas, LTD LLP today.
Former UBS banker Raoul Weil pleads not guilty to helping Americans dodge taxes, The Telegraph, January 7, 2014
Whistleblower Gets $104 Million, Wall Street Journal, September 11, 2012
More Blog Posts:
Billions of Dollars Have Already Been Lost by Investors in Puerto Rico Closed-End Funds that were Sold by UBS, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, January 10, 2014
Detroit, MI Can’t Pay $165M to UBS & Bank of America For Swaps Deal, Rules Judge, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, January 21, 2014
Fannie Mae Sues UBS, Bank of America, Credit Suisse, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, & Deutsche Bank, & Others for $800M Over Libor, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, December 14, 2013