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American Holders of Swiss Bank Accounts Face Tax Charges

Federal prosecutors have brought tax evasion charges against two men who held Swiss bank accounts with the Swiss bank UBS. The government alleges that the men held the accounts to hide money from the IRS.

The two men are Peter Schober, 51, of Boston, and Gregory Rudolph, 63, of Brookline, Mass. They were each charged in separate criminal cases with willfully failing to comply with reporting requirements for offshore bank accounts.

Prosecutors allege that Schober, with UBS's help, established Small Guard Foundation, a Panamanian corporation with no operations, in 2000. Two years later, he opened a UBS account in Small Guard's name, and over the next five years hid more than $1 million in the account from the IRS.

The case against Rudolph is that he deposited $1.5 million into an account in his own name with UBS. The government says UBS helped Rudolph create a shell firm called Lucky Overseas Ventures to help him conceal profits made from the deposited money. Rudolph had another offshore bank account in Hong Kong that the government alleges he also used for his own benefit.

The allegations are that Schober evaded $77,871 in taxes, and Rudolph evaded $25,507 in taxes by filing false tax returns. If convicted, the men face up to five years in prison and fines of $250,000.

In a statement, Schober took this approach: "I take full responsibility for failing to inform the government of the existence of my Swiss bank account. I am fully committed to paying all penalties, interest and taxes.''

Source: Boston Globe "Two charged with concealing UBS investments; Thousands of dollars owed in taxes, US alleges" 10/28/2010

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