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Tax evasion Italian police arrest ‘fugitive’ Swiss banker

Weil is one of the most high profile bankers accused by the US of tax evasion

(Keystone)

Former UBS wealth management boss Raoul Weil has been arrested in Italy and faces extradition to the United States to answer charges of aiding and abetting tax evaders.

Weil parted company with Switzerland’s largest bank in 2009 after being declared a fugitive by the US courts for failing to respond to a criminal indictment issued in 2008. UBS paid a $780 million fine in 2009 after admitting to aiding and abetting US tax evaders.

Several Swiss bankers and lawyers have since been indicted in the US for their alleged part in helping wealthy US citizens hide their assets from the tax authorities.

Weil is one of the most prominent of the accused having moved through the ranks of UBS’s vaunted wealth management business to become chief executive and then chairman of its global wealth management division.

The Florida court indictment accuses Weil of playing a prominent role in helping UBS’s US clients to hide around $20 billion in undeclared assets between 2002 and 2007. The banker has strenuously denied the allegation but has refused to appear before the US courts to answer the charges.

Bologna police confirmed on Sunday that they had arrested Weil at a hotel in the city. He was apparently travelling under his real name which appears to have alerted the Italian authorities to the international arrest warrant.

Weil is a managing partner at Reuss Private Group, a financial consultancy company based in Pfäffikon, canton Schwyz, according to the firm’s website.

In a statement on Monday, Reuss Private Group said it had been informed on Sunday of the arrest.

“Raoul Weil has worked for Reuss Private Group since 2010, first as a consultant, and then, since the beginning of this year, as its CEO,” the statement said.

“Raoul Weil does not have any functions at Reuss Private AG, a Bremgarten-based asset manager owned by Reuss Private Group that is licensed by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA to operate as a securities dealer.”

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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