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Can it get any worse for UBS?!

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Senior Manager
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Joined: 30 Jul 2007
Posts: 385
Location: Europe
Schools: St. Gallen '09
Followers: 6

Kudos [?]: 56 [0], given: 5

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Can it get any worse for UBS?! [#permalink] New post 07 May 2008, 00:02
http://us.ft.com/ftgateway/superpage.ft ... 1914552656

Top UBS banker held in US tax probe
By Haig Simonian in Zurich
Tuesday May 6 2008 18:05

One of the most senior private bankers at UBS (NYSE:UBS) , the world's leading wealth manager, has been detained by authorities in the US investigating whether the Swiss bank helped its American clients evade tax.

Martin Liechti, the Zurich-based head of North and South America for UBS's international wealth management business, was held in connection with a US Department investigation into investment advice that UBS gave its American private banking clients between 2000 and 2007.

The Swiss lender confirmed on Tuesday that it was also being investigated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission over whether UBS client advisers "engaged in activities in relation to their US-domiciled clients that triggered an obligation for UBS Switzerland to register with the SEC as a broker-dealer and/or investment adviser".

The bank said it was co-operating with the investigations.

UBS declined to confirm Mr Liechti's identity, saying only that "a senior UBS employee was briefly detained". However, the Financial Times has confirmed that the banker was Mr Liechti, who did not return phone calls . Attempts to reach him by e-mail generated a response saying he was "out of the office with limited access to my email".

UBS said its employee had not been charged with any wrongdoing but had been held "under a 'material witness' warrant" in connection with the DoJ investigation and would remain in the US "pending discussions with the US authorities regarding resolution of his status as a witness".

People close to the situation said the detention was an aggressive tactic and may have been chosen by the authorities to put pressure on UBS and its employees to reveal its business practices. The bank in effect closed its Swiss-based US operation in November but said the move had not followed any specific US regulatory action.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


This is not surprising at all. Some other banks are also up to some shady operations:


Legal insider trading in three easy steps, brought to you by JP Morgan and the SEC

http://wikileaks.be/wiki/Whistleblower_ ... _JP_Morgan


Bank Julius Baer: Grand Larceny via Grand Cayman

http://wikileaks.be/wiki/Bank_Julius_Ba ... and_Cayman
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Re: Can it get any worse for UBS?! [#permalink] New post 07 May 2008, 13:12
Ponzi. Grab the fees and go.
Senior Manager
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Joined: 30 Jul 2007
Posts: 385
Location: Europe
Schools: St. Gallen '09
Followers: 6

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Re: Can it get any worse for UBS?! [#permalink] New post 07 May 2008, 14:31
Maple wrote:
Ponzi. Grab the fees and go.


Jam 'em!!!
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
Joined: 30 Jul 2007
Posts: 385
Location: Europe
Schools: St. Gallen '09
Followers: 6

Kudos [?]: 56 [0], given: 5

GMAT Tests User
Re: Can it get any worse for UBS?! [#permalink] New post 19 Jun 2008, 10:25
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home

Ex-UBS Banker Birkenfeld Pleads Guilty in Tax Case (Update2)

By Carlyn Kolker and David Voreacos

June 19 (Bloomberg) -- Former UBS AG banker Bradley Birkenfeld pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy, admitting he helped a California billionaire avoid U.S. taxes.

Birkenfeld, a U.S. citizen who worked at Zurich-based UBS's private banking unit from 2001 to 2006, admitted to U.S. District Judge William Zloch today in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, that he helped real estate developer Igor Olenicoff dodge income taxes on $200 million in assets hidden in Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

``I was employed by UBS and paid a large salary and incentivized to do this business,'' Birkenfeld, 43, said today at his plea hearing. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison at his sentencing.

Birkenfeld has talked to prosecutors for more than a year, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Neiman said at the ex-banker's May 13 bond hearing. UBS, the world's biggest money manager for wealthy clients, has said it's cooperating with probes by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

``His cooperation is anticipated to assist the government nationwide in its investigation,'' Kevin Downing, a federal prosecutor, said at today's hearing.

Switzerland was asked by the U.S. government June 11 to assist with the probe, a spokesman for the Swiss Justice Office said June 16.

Unsealed Indictment

Birkenfeld and Mario Staggl, a Liechtenstein banker, were charged in an indictment unsealed by prosecutors on May 13 with helping Americans escape paying taxes. The men traveled to the U.S. to pitch tax evasion schemes, claiming ``Swiss and Liechtenstein bank secrecy was impenetrable,'' according to the indictment. Prosecutors have declared Staggl a fugitive.

Birkenfeld and Staggl were accused of helping Olenicoff, chief executive officer of Olen Properties Corp., use nominee entities and phony companies to hide assets. They told Olenicoff to destroy offshore banking records and use Swiss credit cards that they said wouldn't be discovered by U.S. authorities, according to the indictment

Olenicoff pleaded guilty Dec. 12 in Santa Ana, California, federal court to filing a false income tax return. He was sentenced April 14 to two years probation and agreed to pay $52 million in back taxes, penalties and interest.

Birkenfeld was arrested May 7 after he flew into Boston's Logan International Airport for a high school reunion, court records show. Birkenfeld was released on bond and was ordered to stay in Boston, where he was living with his brother, according to a transcript of a May 13 court hearing in Fort Lauderdale.
Re: Can it get any worse for UBS?!   [#permalink] 19 Jun 2008, 10:25
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