Swiss CEO pleads guilty over tax evasion of US citizens

By Christine Duhaime | April 30th, 2014

Today, the CEO of a Swiss trust company, Josef Dorig, pleaded guilty to defrauding the IRS for his role in helping US clients set up sham foundations and trusts and keep money in Switzerland for the purpose of tax evasion. He faces a term of incarceration in a US federal prison of five years.

The US Assistant Attorney announced that persons who help American companies and persons evade taxes (specifically those who use or advisors “who help others use” foreign bank accounts) will be prosecuted in the US. Of particular note, was a reference by the US Assistant Attorney to focusing on foreign bank accounts and the IRS following the money internationally to track participants in tax evasion.

Mr. Dorig helped Americans move money to bank accounts in Switzerland and set up sham foundations and corporate entities as a way of concluding the tax evasion scam. He used one of Switzerland’s biggest banks and asset managers to facilitate the transactions. The asset manager was set up as a subsidiary of the bank and it managed the client’s funds. However, in addition to asset management, it appears to have been part of the tax evasion arrangement however unwittingly.

The Statement of Facts in the case available from the Department of Justice is here.

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