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UBS informant gets US jail term

Former UBS banker Bradley Birkenfeld has been sentenced to three years four months in jail for his role in defrauding the US tax authorities.

The sentence was announced on Friday by a Florida court.

He had been found guilty of conspiring to defraud the US by helping a Californian billionaire real estate developer to hide $200 million (SFr212 million) in assets.

Birkenfeld, a US citizen, made a full confession and became a key informant in the government’s probe into the activities of UBS in helping US citizens evade tax.

He faced a jail term of up to five years.

Birkenfeld’s lawyers had argued that his cooperation with investigators meant that he deserved a suspended term. The US authorities filed a motion with the court earlier this week calling for a sentence of two and a half years.

On Wednesday the US and Swiss governments signed a deal under which UBS will give the US Internal Revenue Service details of 4,450 wealthy American clients suspected of breaking tax laws.

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