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Swiss banker pleads guilty to tax offences in the US

A Swiss banker has pleaded guilty to tax offences in the United States. Between 2008 and 2014, he allegedly helped wealthy US clients hide their assets from the US authorities in accounts at Zurich-based Ihag Privatbank.

The former head of the Zurich-based Allied Finance Trust, a subsidiary of the Liechtenstein-based Allied Finance Group, and his “co-conspirators” transferred more than $60 million (CHF51.4 million) from US taxpayers to undeclared Ihag bank accounts, according to a statement issued by the US Department of Justice on Thursday.

The Swiss national was arrested in Italy in August 2023 and extradited to the United States. According to the press release, he now faces up to five years in prison as well as fines and claims for restitution.

A senior employee of Ihag Holding had already pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting tax evasion to the US authorities in spring 2023. In 2021 the US judiciary brought charges against a total of six bankers associated with Ihag Privatbank and Allied Finance.

+ How the US tax evasion crackdown impacted Swiss banking

According to the indictment, the bankers implemented a scheme known as the “Singapore Solution”, in which the funds of US taxpayers were channelled via various bank accounts in Hong Kong and other locations to newly opened accounts in the name of a Singaporean asset management company at Ihag. The US clients had paid high fees to Ihag and other parties involved.

The private bank Ihag itself reached an agreement with the US Department of Justice in November 2015 in the tax dispute. It had paid a fine of $7.45 million.


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