UBS : Former senior UBS banker goes on trial in Florida for tax evasion

Former high-ranking UBS bank executive Raoul Weil goes to trial in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Tuesday for allegedly helping thousands of Americans avoid paying taxes by concealing up to $20 billion in secret Swiss bank accounts.

Weil, 54, was the third-highest ranked executive at the Zurich-based wealth management giant and was charged by U.S. authorities in 2008. An international arrest warrant was issued in 2009. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison for conspiracy to commit tax fraud.

“We are preparing diligently for trial,” said Weil’s New York-based attorney, Aaron Marcu.

The United States in recent years has stepped up its pursuit of Swiss banks for their role in aiding tax evasion and increasingly pressured individual bankers. Since 2009, the Justice Department has charged more than 70 taxpayers and 30 bankers and advisers in a probe of offshore activities.

Authorities are also examining whether 14 Swiss banks had roles in helping potentially tens of thousands of Americans avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes.

Read on.

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