Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Swiss Tell U.S. "F"-Off

Pic and story thanks to Freedoms Phoenix;

Swiss ready to seize UBS data to stifle Washington

By BALZ BRUPPACHER, Associated Press Writer

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

(07-08) 15:28 PDT BERN, Switzerland (AP) --

Switzerland's government said Wednesday it would forbid the Swiss bank UBS AG from complying with any court-ordered transfer of data on tens of thousands of American clients to the U.S. government, and would consider seizing documents to prevent that.

The statement was the strongest yet by Swiss authorities locked in a battle with the U.S. Justice Department over the identities of more than 50,000 American clients at UBS.

The case in the federal district court in Miami has become a focal point of Washington's efforts to crack down on tax evasion and the foreign banks that help wealthy Americans send money overseas. But UBS and the Swiss government say handing over the names would violate Swiss law and subject bank employees to criminal prosecution in Switzerland.

"Swiss law prohibits UBS from complying with a possible order by the court in Miami to hand over the client information," the Swiss Justice Ministry said in a statement, describing its latest filing with the Miami court.

It said the bank would not be in a position to comply, anyhow, since "all the necessary measures should be taken to prevent UBS from handing over the information on the 52,000 account holders demanded in the U.S. civil proceeding."

Ministry spokesman Folco Galli told The Associated Press the government decided last month that it would even seize the documents from UBS to prevent the transfer.

The Swiss filing prompted U.S. District Judge Alan S. Gold to order a response by Sunday from the administration of President Barack Obama focusing on what the U.S. government would do if the Swiss refused to comply with a potential order that the names be turned over.

"The United States shall address ... how far it intends to proceed by way of request for enforcement, up through and including receivership and/or seizure of UBS' assets within the United States," Gold wrote in the order Wednesday.

There was no immediate comment from the U.S. Justice Department.

Last month, the Justice Department said UBS "systematically and deliberately" violated U.S. law by dispatching private bankers to recruit wealthy Americans interested in evading taxes. It urged Gold to hold UBS accountable for conducting years of illegal business on U.S. soil — business it claimed had earned the bank more than $100 million in fees but cost the U.S. hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid taxes.

Gold has set a July 13 hearing on whether to enforce what are known as "John Doe summonses" used by the Internal Revenue Service to seek information about U.S. taxpayers.

Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz has referred to the possibility of an out-of-court settlement, but U.S. authorities have pressed on with the case, threatening to further strain U.S.-Swiss relations.

UBS previously reached a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department in which it agreed to disclose the identities of up to 300 U.S. clients and to pay $780 million to the U.S. government. In that deal, UBS admitted regularly violating U.S. law through its client recruitment methods, use of sham offshore entities and filing of false paperwork. Subsequently, the U.S. decided to pursue a much broader group.

Nicolas Michellod, a senior analyst with Celent, a Boston-based financial research and consulting firm, said the U.S. and Switzerland were using legal agreements to try and gain the upper hand when they negotiate a settlement. The case, however, is only about money, he said.

"As UBS has already admitted its fault, there can be only one solution," Michellod said. "The Swiss bank will have to pay a fine or compensation of an amount corresponding to taxes that are still due to the U.S. government."

The Swiss government's extraordinary step is not without precedent. In the 1980s, it confiscated business files linked to commodities trader Marc Rich to ensure that they weren't passed on to the United States.

Rich fled from the United States to Switzerland in 1983 after he was indicted by a U.S. federal grand jury on more than 50 counts of fraud, racketeering, trading with Iran during the U.S. Embassy hostage crisis and evading more than $48 million in income taxes — crimes that could have imprisoned him for more than 300 years.

He was controversially pardoned in 2001 by Bill Clinton just hours before he left office as U.S. president.


Associated Press writers Bradley S. Klapper in Geneva and Curt Anderson in Miami contributed to this report.


  1. True to their name: United Bank of Swindlers!

  2. But the US is letting them get away with it!
    Wonder who they are trying to protect (themselves?)

  3. Interesting article. Maybe explains why Mr Clinton is such a regular visitor to Switzerland?

  4. Swiss Bank Accounts.---- July. 2015.

    Is your monies safe in these accounts ---- definitely NOT.
    Would you get your money back if every body decided to withdraw all their accounts – NO WAY.
    Economic Experts say that there would only enough money to repay 50% of their clients.
    Are you going to be in the 50% --- that loose your money.-- Get it out NOW.

    2012 -- - June. -- Published in Anglo INFO .Geneva.--- USA Trust Fund Investors were sent false and fraudulent documents by Pictet Bank.Switzerland. in order to collect large fees. ( Like MADOFF) ---Even after the SEC in the USA uncovered the fraud Pictet continued to charge fees and drain whatever was left in these accounts. Estimated that $90,000,000 million lost in this Pictet Ponzi scheme.

    2012 - - - July. -- De – Spiegel. -- states – Pictet Bank uses a letterbox company in
    Panama and a tax loophole involving investments in London to gain
    German millionaires as clients.

    2012 - - - August ---- German Opposition Leader accuses Swiss Banks of "organised crime."

    April 2015. ---- Inner City Press.---- United Nations Joint Staff Pension Funds.
    Pension Fund.--$53 Billion.----- The spokesman FARHAN HAQ would not answer whether Investment chairman – IVAN PICTET had to quit ---- after allegations made by some staff. ---- “ once a crook always a crook” – so there.

    All the fines that crooked Swiss banks have incurred in the last few years exceeds £75.Billion.
    It is also calculated that the secrecy " agreements" with regards to tax evation by their clients will cost the banks another £450 Billion.( paid out of your monies.)

    The banks are panicking --- the are quickly restructuring their banks ---- from partnerships --
    to " LIMITED COMPANIES." ----- this will probably mean that in the future --- they could
    pay you only 10% of your monies " if you are one of the lucky ones" ---- and it be legal.

  5. The swiss banks are greedy and criminals, no doubt. I worked their, and can tell you stories, from looking at all the corrupt companies and government angencies. The swiss government and economy keeps a strong lid on the truth.
    Any economic down-turn, any immigratiion law-change, or an energy crisis will make the swiss banks tumble.

  6. Suve, the swiss national accident insurance, mandatory for government employess and high risk jobs, accumulated profits over 30 billion CHF in recent decades.
    The annual reports are according to swiss law, illegeal, because they are incomplete.
    They hide their profits as provisions, without ever dissolving them. Fake calculaltions, without an explanation where the numbers come from, is their trick.
    The media is kept silence with advertisement money and subsidize payments from the governments.