May 21, 2014
On Monday the Department of Justice announced Credit Suisse pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy, after the Swiss bank admitted to helping wealthy Americans avoid paying taxes. One of the bank's clients involved in the billion-dollar tax scam lives in Charlottesville, according to court documents filed in Virginia federal court.
The government's investigation into Credit Suisse revealed the bank helped clients file false income tax returns and hide money in overseas accounts. Some U.S. investors accessed their deposits with debit cards linked to the hidden accounts while other customers received withdrawals in cash from Credit Suisse employees.
"When you want the money somebody might show up in the U.S. with a bag full of cash and give you some of the funds from your account'," said Andrew Hayashi, a law professor at the University of Virginia.
Credit Suisse helped nearly 22,000 American clients avoid paying upwards of 12 billion dollars in taxes. In exchange for a guilty plea, the bank will pay a settlement of $2.6 billion dollars but will continue to be allowed to do business in the U.S. Meanwhile, the tax-dodgers who benefited from the scheme, including the Charlottesville resident, will remain anonymous and likely wont face a penalty. The bank doesn't have to provide client information to investigators because it's protected by Swiss bank secrecy laws.