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Zurich-based financial advisor indicted in US

A Swiss financial advisor has been charged in the United States with conspiring to hide $184 million (SFr150.5 million) from US tax authorities.

In a statement on Thursday, the Department of Justice (DoJ) said the Zurich-based man, 57, had conspired to help more than 60 US clients conceal assets from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) between 1998 and 2009.

According to the charges filed in a New York court, the man created sham foundations and corporations in third-country jurisdictions including Hong Kong and Liechtenstein to conceal his clients’ ownership of Swiss bank accounts.

Furthermore, upon discovery in 2008 that UBS bank was under investigation by the IRS, the man helped his US clients move their accounts to other Swiss banks which did not have a physical office or presence in the US, the DoJ said.

If found guilty of the conspiracy charge, the man faces a maximum five year prison term and fines.  

The DoJ did not specify in its statement how it intended to compel the man to face the charges in the US.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR