A federal judge on Monday authorized the Internal Revenue Service to seek records from UBS AG of U.S. taxpayers suspected of hiding their income in accounts with Swiss bank Wegelin.
Wegelin, the oldest Swiss private bank, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court on Jan. 3 to charges of helping wealthy Americans evade taxes through secret accounts and then announced it would close down as a result.
U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan granted the IRS's request to issue a "John Doe" summons, which seeks information about possible tax fraud committed by individuals whose identities are not known, on UBS for the names of taxpayers who may have hidden income at Wegelin and other Swiss banks.
A UBS spokeswoman declined to comment on the ruling.
When the government indicted Wegelin nearly a year ago, it alleged that the bank used a U.S. correspondent account at UBS to handle funds for American clients, a standard industry practice for foreign banks. By covertly
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