A Swiss national who is reported to be the head of private banking at Bank Frey, Stefan Buck, and a partner at a Swiss law firm, Edgar Paltzer, have been indicted, in US District Court* in New York, for assisting US citizens to hide their assets from US taxes. One count of conspiracy has been filed against both defendants, who are reportedly in Switzerland, and not in US custody at this time.
Bank Frey was reportedly the recipient of over $938 million of new deposits, in "flight capital," money from US nationals that was moved out of Switzerland's largest banks, when those banks were targeted by the US Department of Justice. Obviously, the US is investigating Swiss regional and cantonal banks, many of whom opened new accounts for US citizens, and accepted their money.
Will this indictment serve to deter the smaller Swiss bank from hiding US wealth ? We cannot say, but I am sure a number of guilty Swiss bankers are wondering whether they are next. I also wonder what the directors are thinking at the bank today.
* Case No.: 13-crim-0282 (SDNY). [file not yet unsealed but available through DOJ].
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