The Department of Justice’s action against Credit Suisse has ended with a guilty plea by the Swiss bank, reports tax attorney Rob Wood in an article in Forbes magazine. The plea will carry a felony conviction.
This case is an example of sweeping reform where a number of countries—not just the United States—are looking at tax havens. “It’s been a sea change over the last five years,” opines Wood, who feels that it is good for Credit Suisse to have this case behind it. Credit Suisse is paying a $2.6 billion fine, much harsher than the $780 million fine paid by UBS, which also got a deferred prosecution agreement, something Credit Suisse did not.
There are still over ten Swiss banks in talks with the Department of Justice or under investigation, Wood reports. In addition, there are other Swiss banks who have taken a programmatic deal for turning over records to the DOJ. With all the criminal investigations and deals, there are questions why no one ever goes to jail. Attorney General Eric Holder has been criticized for not prosecuting banks in the U.S. Wood says that there are a lot of opinions swirling around, “but you don’t want to be caught in the crosshairs.” Wood suggests that similar events will begin to occur in other countries.
For more information on the subject, please refer to Mr. Wood’s article in Forbes. Robert Wood is a tax attorney with Wood, LLP in San Francisco, California and spoke with The Tax Law Channel, an affiliate of The Legal Broadcast Network. The Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of the Sequence Media Group.