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Business & Finance Print 2023-03-30

Credit Suisse concealed more than $700m from US DoJ: Senate body

WASHINGTON: Embatt-led Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse has failed to disclose more than $700 million in previously...
Published March 30, 2023

WASHINGTON: Embattled Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse has failed to disclose more than $700 million in previously undeclared accounts since 2014, in violation of a plea deal with the US Department of Justice, a Senate committee said Wednesday.

The findings of the two-year Senate Finance Committee investigation add to the woes of the Swiss investment bank, which was pushed to merge with regional rival UBS earlier this month after suffering contagion from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.

“At the center of this investigation are greedy Swiss bankers and catnapping government regulators,” the chair of the committee Senator Ron Wyden said in a statement. “The result appears to be a massive, ongoing conspiracy to help ultra-wealthy US citizens to evade taxes and rip off their fellow Americans.”

Credit Suisse pleaded guilty in 2014 to attempting to aid and assist US taxpayers in filing false income tax returns. As part of a plea deal with the Department of Justice (DOJ), the bank paid a fine of more than a billion dollars and agreed to make a complete disclosure of its cross-border activities, disclose previously undeclared accounts and cooperate with requests for account information.

The report released Wednesday found Credit Suisse had “violated key terms of its plea agreement,” in particular by not informing the DOJ when it moved close to $100 million from a previously undisclosed account belonging to a single US-Latin American family to other Swiss banks. The committee also accused Credit Suisse bankers of “knowingly and willfully” aiding and abetting “offshore tax evasion” by US businessman Dan Horsky to the tune of $220 million, according to the statement.

Israel’s Bank Leumi may have also violated its own agreement with the DOJ by assisting with a transfer of tens of millions of dollars out of Credit Suisse and into Bank Leumi accounts in Israel, the committee said.

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