Blowing the Whistle on UBS
Whistle blowing is something that can be considered the only real way that many organizations can get caught for performing financial crimes. Many times the complexity of these crimes goes so far and detailed that many who monitor these financial situations but due to the complexity they can not fully understand what they are looking at, or if it is even an illegal practice. Swiss banking would prove to be one of the most complex scheme that most of the world outside of the financial industry truly know about or understand. This scheme was designed by the wealth management giant UBS, but was only exposed due to one man, Bradley Birkenfeld.
Swiss banking is still considered today a secret organization that provides banking services to the very wealthy of the world. One of the main services that this system offers is the ability to offer Americans the ability to easily commit tax evasion. Tax evasion is the process of hiding assets in a secret account that would normally be taxed in America. With it being uncounted for, this allows that individual to avoid having to pay taxes on that asset. UBS AG of Switzerland is one of the world’s biggest financial institutions in the world. Within this organization they also have one of the world’s largest private bank that caters to many wealthy individuals. This ability and want to gain more clients would lead UBS to helping American’s hide billions of dollars worth of assets.
Starting in 2000 UBS made efforts to open accounts in Switzerland for many wealthy U.S, clients. They allowed employees to practice methods that could facilitate the clients in order to hide their accounts. It is estimated that UBS held 19,000 American client accounts, with a value in the billions. The bankers would make sure these assets were not disclosed to the U.S. tax authorities. The bankers would structure the accounts in order to avoid the tax reporting requirements. UBS assured their clients that with the...