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Friday, November 27th, 2009   7:14 am | Author: Tony | Life, Money, Politics/Government |
Tags: Birkenfeld, tax cheats, whistleblower
Isn’t this a great country?
Where else can you help defraud the government for hundreds of millions of dollars and then turn around get yourself the best lawyer around and claim that you are owed billions of dollars?
Meet Bardley Birkenfeld, former banker at UBS.
Birkenfled helped his rich clients hide millions of dollars offshore evading U.S. taxes.
He was caught and prosecuted and is to begin his 40 month sentence early next year.
But when he gets out he may be a very rich man. Maybe he will make the Forbes richest Americans list when he is released.
As the NYT reports Birkenfeld decided to work with the government and exposed UBS’ tax evasion techniques. The government decided to offer amnesty to Americans who pay their back taxes and penalties. As a result of a settlement with UBS the names and accounts of over 4,000 UBS clients were turned over to the government. The government estimates that it loses $100 billion each year because of these offshore accounts.
Under a 2006 Whistleblowers law, the government encouraged people to come forward and identify the UBS type of schemes.
Birkenfeld represented by the executive director of the National Whistleblowers Center, Stephen M. Kohn, expects to collect billions of dollars upon his release because of this law. Of course Kohn also stands to make a fortune.
Many believe that Birkenfeld has a good shot of succeeding in this effort.
That should take some of sting out of the next 4 years in prison.