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Two Swiss perceived as fugitives in new US tax case

A federal judge in Florida has declared a banker and lawyer from Switzerland who were indicted on fraud charges as fugitives from justice.

This content was published on December 11, 2009 - 16:20

United States District Judge Daniel Hurley signed the order against the banker and attorney on Thursday in West Palm Beach.

The two are accused of helping rich Americans evade paying taxes by hiding assets in Swiss bank UBS and then transferring the accounts to a smaller Zurich-based institution, Neue Zürcher Bank.

Each man has been charged with conspiring to defraud the United States and faces a potential five-year prison sentence.

Hurley has suspended the case against them until they are detained.

UBS agreed in February to pay $780 million (SFr800 million) and disclose the names of 250 clients to settle a US criminal probe. US authorities then demanded the names of up to 52,000 account holders.

Switzerland has since agreed to turn over the names of about 4,450 wealthy clients of UBS, whose accounts at one time held around $18 billion.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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