Two client advisers linked to Swiss private bank Julius Bär have been charged in the United States with helping American citizens avoid paying taxes.
The pair are accused of helping clients hide more than $600 million (SFr546 million) in offshore accounts and evade paying taxes on those accounts.
Although the indictment by the US Attorney’s Office refers only to the pair working at “Swiss Bank No.1”, Julius Bär confirmed in a statement that one former and one current employee were the subjects of the indictment.
"The bank is one of a number of Swiss financial institutions supporting the ongoing negotiations between the US and Switzerland and is cooperating with the US government investigation," Julius Bär said in a statement.
According to the indictment, the two bankers opened and managed undeclared accounts for US taxpayers at the bank with fictional names such as Hydrangea or Red Rubin, or in the names of non-US relatives or sham corporate entities.
“The defendants also allegedly advised clients not to worry about US law enforcement authorities because Swiss Bank No. 1 no longer had offices on US soil,” the US Attorney’s Office said in press statement.
The accused reside in Switzerland and it was not immediately clear how the pair could be compelled to appear in court in the US. If found guilty they each face a maximum of five years in prison and a minimum fine of $250,000.
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