by Brian Mahany
Just when all the UBS litigation began to die down, the U.S. Attorneys Office in Miami Florida filed charges against Renzo Gadola, a former UBS banker. Gadola is charged with the felony crime of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Treasury. The criminal complaint provides startling evidence as to the conduct of UBS and their efforts to assist US taxpayers underreport income.
According to charges unsealed on December 15th, Gadola worked for UBS from the late 1990’s through 2008. Although a Swiss citizen, Gadola frequently traveled to the U.S. and attended college at Jacksonville University.
UBS provides private banking services to clients around the world including the U.S. The IRS contends that UBS actively helped Americans conceal their money in Swiss accounts. The IRS claims UBS trained its bankers on how to avoid detection by U.S. authorities while traveling in the U.S. by lying on customs forms and stating their trip to the U.S. was not business related.
How did Gadola get caught? Last year the IRS offered a voluntary disclosure plan that allowed Americans with undisclosed foreign accounts to come forward and not face prosecution. Some 15,000 taxpayers took advantage of that program. Included in that group were 12 customers of Gadola. Those 12 people had unreported accounts worth between $18 and $46 million.
One of those clients was a U.S. resident who had inherited money from his recently deceased mother. The account had never been properly declared. Later, that same client admitted to another Swiss banker affiliated with UBS that he had several hundred thousands of dollars in cash stuffed in a box. UBS was eager to help the client conceal the original account and conceal the box of cash.
One of the bankers ultimately met with the client in a hotel room in New Orleans where the client turned over the cash. No required currency transaction reports were filed.
Later, during the 2009 amnesty program, the client informed his Swiss bankers that he was going to declare his accounts and come clean with the IRS. One of those bankers begged the client not to report the account to the IRS because it would cause trouble. He offered to provide fake documentation that would characterize the monies as a loan.
The client refused. Gadola traveled to the U.S. to “help” the client and was arrested. With this arrest comes a new window into the activities of UBS and Swiss banking.
Although no longer at UBS at the time of arrest, Gardola remained a Swiss banker. What is particularly amazing is how this activity was taking place during the same time as the UBS and Swiss banking scandal. One would assume that notwithstanding the record fines levied against UBS, it is still business as usual for Swiss bankers doing business in the U.S.
Gadola is free on a $750,000 bond while awaiting trial. He has surrendered his passport.
Mahany & Ertl is a full service boutique law firm concentrating in white collar criminal defense, tax compliance and audit defense, and asset recovery. We help taxpayers with a wide range of tax problems including foreign reporting, audit defense, tax compliance, criminal tax defense and offers and compromise.
Call Brian Mahany for a no nonsense, confidential analysis of your situation at (414) 704-6731 or contact him through his website, https://www.mahanyertl.com