Credit Suisse pleads guilty to ‘tax cheats’
Credit Suisse plead guilty in the Department of Justice indictment of the bank for aiding and abetting in tax evasion. In so doing it has acknowledged that it assisted its clients in using sham entities, to secretly hide funds in offshore accounts. As part of the plea Credit Suisse has agreed to pay fines and restitution in excess of $2.5 billion.
The Department of Justice said that Credit Suisse, who has about 22,000 US clients worth around $10 billion, helped some of them withdraw funds from their undeclared accounts by either providing hand-delivered cash to the United States or by using Credit Suisse’s correspondent bank accounts in the US.
The US has attempted to gain access to client data from Swiss banks for some time. Switzerland’s oldest bank, Wegelin & Co, was forced to close its doors after pleading guilty to helping US clients evade taxes. Credit Suisse are Switzerland’s second largest bank.
The bank was forced to plead guilty not only because of its complicity in tax evasion, but also because of its poor cooperation in the investigation, prosecutors said.