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Tax evasion case puts Credit Suisse in spotlight

A Credit Suisse client has pleaded guilty in a United States federal court to evading taxes, the first time the bank has been mentioned in the US crackdown on tax evaders.

The defendant, from Ohio, was originally charged with hiding assets in accounts at Swiss bank UBS, but he has now also admitted that he hid assets at Switzerland’s other big bank.

US officials have said they are investigating other banks after UBS in 2009 paid $780 million (SFr731 million) to settle tax evasion charges.

A Credit Suisse spokeswoman declined to comment on the case, but said the bank is not a target of any probe.

US judge Dan Polster advised the bank client, who now lives in Switzerland, that his sentence was being deferred on condition that he provide “substantial assistance” to the US justice authorities.

He agreed to pay a penalty amount of half the highest total amount in the two accounts between the years 2002 and 2009, which according to his plea agreement was at least $473,000.

The case follows an indictment filed last month charging four bankers, identified by sources as working at Credit Suisse, with encouraging Americans to dodge taxes.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR