September 3, 2021
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. government is ending its criminal case against Zuercher Kantonalbank for helping wealthy Americans evade taxes, after the Zurich lender paid $98.5 million and complied with a three-year deferred prosecution agreement.
In a Friday filing with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, a federal prosecutor said “the government will not now proceed with the prosecution of ZKB” because of the lender’s “full compliance” with the August 2018 agreement.
ZKB had admitted to helping U.S.-based clients hide hundreds of millions of dollars from the Internal Revenue Service by using undeclared Swiss bank accounts.
Prosecutors said more than 190 U.S. taxpayers conspired to conceal accounts at the bank between 2002 and 2009.
The case was part of a broad U.S. crackdown on offshore tax evasion by wealthy Americans.
Two ZKB bankers each pleaded guilty to a related misdemeanor conspiracy charge and were sentenced to one year probation.
The $98.5 million payment included a $35.1 million fine, plus restitution and forfeiture, court papers show.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Marguerita Choy)
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