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Plea entered in foreign tax evasion case

Remember the brouhaha about folks stashing cash and other income producing assets in Alpine bank accounts. If not, you can refresh your memory with my blog post from February about the expanding Liechtenstein tax inquiry and the additional links within that item.

Now some of those tax-evading chickens are coming home to roost.

Ubs_building_2 Bradley C. Birkenfeld, a former UBS executive, pled guilty this week in a Fort Lauderdale federal courtroom to one count of conspiring to defraud the United States. By doing do, he admitted that he helped California billionaire real estate developer Igor Olenicoff avoid U.S. income taxes on $200 million in assets that were hidden in Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 13. Birkenfeld could face a maximum five-year prison term.

The Birkenfeld case is part of a larger investigation into whether the Swiss banking giant helped wealthy clients hide assets and evade taxes.

You can read more on Birkenfeld's plea in stories at Reuters, Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog, the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune, which includes Swiss reaction to the case.


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