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UBS settlement nets first guilty plea

Prosecutors in the United States say that a man has agreed to plead guilty to failing to report money he transferred into a Swiss bank account to avoid paying taxes.

This content was published on August 14, 2009 - 20:56

The man, who deposited more than $1 million (SFr1.07 million) into a UBS account, is the first alleged tax dodger to settle with US authorities after the Swiss government agreed on Wednesday to reveal the identities of US customers of the bank.

According to court documents, the man funneled the money to a UBS account with the help of a Swiss lawyer and bank officials between 2003 and 2008.

"The defendant was advised by UBS representatives that a lot of United States clients don't report their income and just take it off the top," according to court documents.

By transferring more than $1 million to the Swiss bank account, prosecutors said the California resident failed to pay at least $200,000 in federal income taxes.

The New York Times reported on Thursday that 150 American UBS clients are likely to face criminal charges for tax evasion based on information handed over as part of the settlement.

The man faces up to five years in prison and fines totalling $250,000 if the plea is approved by a judge. He is expected to appear in court on September 14.

The US Internal Revenue Service had sought names of 52,000 people who had deposited money in secret bank accounts.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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