But it wasn't anyone who personally benefited from the little-mentioned Swiss-US Tax Havens, themselves.
No, those Swiss-US clients, got only a stern, scary warning instead. And ample opportunity to mend their IRS "Tax Dodging" ways.
Geneva, 04 August 2012 -- deccanherald.com
The out-of-court settlement required that the country's largest bank UBS AG hand over to US authorities information on accounts that are believed to belong to clients who hid their assets from the Internal Revenue Service to avoid paying taxes. Swiss confidentiality laws generally mandate that banks are not allowed to divulge client information.
The 4,450 accounts -- estimated to hold some $18 Billion -- will come on top of data of some 250 accounts that was already handed over in February, when UBS also agreed to pay a fine of $780 million.
UBS has admitted its employees helped clients evade paying taxes, in some cases committing fraud.
And about ... Romney's Tax Returns?
middleclasspoliticaleconomist -- July 18, 2012
Wouldn't it be great if we knew which Swiss bank Romney's money had been hidden in?
In fact, we do know which bank held $3 million of Ann Romney's blind trust. It was UBS.
How do we know? Brad Malt, the Romneys' trustee, said so. Not only that, when Romney released his 2010 tax return in January of this year, he had to amend two previously filed disclosure forms, for 2007 and 2011. In 2007, he had not specified that the UBS account was in Switzerland, not the U.S., according to ABC News (UBS has branches in the U.S.).
Let's review the bidding: Ambiguous disclosure in 2007. UBS income on 2010 tax return. Retroactive revision of 2007 disclosure. IRS amnesty for undisclosed foreign accounts in 2009 powered by UBS prosecution. Refusal to release 2009 tax return. Yes, 2009 could be a big problem.
by Matthew Mosk and Brian Ross, abcnews.go.com -- Jan. 26, 2012
The discovery that Romney's vast holdings included an account in Switzerland, a country long notorious for helping the very wealthy hide their assets, came during his release of his tax return earlier this week. Malt, who oversees Romney's blind trusts, acknowledged during a conference call with reporters that he decided to shut down the Swiss account because he worried it could create a headache for Romney's campaign. "It might or might not be consistent with Governor Romney's political views," he said. "The taxes were all fully paid … it just wasn't worth it. And I closed the account."
That suggests, Allison said, that the campaign had a motivation to exclude any evidence of the Swiss account from the candidate's forms. The Romney campaign called the omission an oversight.
Mitt Romney had millions in a Swiss bank account, Barack Obama campaign ad says
politifact.com, truth-o-meter -- Jul 16, 2012 [Truth-o-meter says: it's True.]
Malt responded that "the Swiss bank account was in the Ann Romney blind trust. It held approximately $3 million. It was just an investment of the trust -- the bank account of the trust -- which, as I mentioned, I have subsequently closed. The bank was, sorry, Union Bank Switzerland -- UBS."
Malt’s comments confirm that Romney "had millions in a Swiss bank account" because the couple filed their returns jointly, and the campaign has disclosed tax returns for Ann Romney’s trusts and family trusts, not just Romney’s funds.
Meanwhile, the Romney campaign also retroactively disclosed that the couple had a Swiss account in his 2006 presidential financial disclosure form, apparently the same one that was closed in 2010. In the 2006 disclosure form, the UBS money market account was listed as being worth between $1 million and $5 million.
And about that "someone" who saw the full weight of the IRS-Banking Law ... I'm sure those Swiss-US clients feel that Justice was served (the 2nd tier of it at least), in this little-discussed case ...
Why Is the Whistleblower Who Exposed the Massive UBS Tax Evasion Scheme the Only One Heading to Prison?
democracynow.org -- January 7, 2010
A former banker for the Swiss giant UBS who blew the whistle on the biggest tax evasion scheme in US history is preparing to head to prison tomorrow to begin serving a forty-month federal sentence.
Bradley Birkenfeld first came forward to US authorities in 2007 and began providing inside information on how UBS was helping thousands of Americans hide assets in secret Swiss accounts. UBS pleaded guilty last February and paid a $780 million fine. UBS has also agreed to turn over the names of the nearly 4,500 of its American clients to the Justice Department. That’s only a portion of the 19,000 it claims the secret accounts of Americans it held. Meanwhile, thousands of other Americans with unreported offshore accounts have been allowed to belatedly disclose them and pay civil penalties.
Government prosecutors have admitted the massive fraud scheme would probably not have been discovered without Birkenfeld blowing the whistle on UBS. So why is he the only one going to jail? [...]
Well, what happened was -- you’re 100 percent right. The record shows he went to -- he was a typical whistleblower. When he read a document, that triggered, and he realized what he was doing was illegal -- and even some of it illegal under Swiss law, by the way -- he went to his supervisor. And as he tells it, he almost had a fistfight. I mean, they had an argument. That’s typical. He then went to internal compliance. He went to the lawyers. He wrote emails. He then filed an official whistleblower complaint within UBS, all of which was covered up.
He then travels to America. Big mistake. He went to the Justice Department criminal lawyers who do tax fraud. Those folks looked at him as an easy mark. Here’s a guy walking in the door who is giving you information about a massive tax fraud, voluntarily, without immunity. [...]
[...] And at his own expense -- he’s living in Switzerland -- he [Birkenfeld] voluntarily flies to the United States and meets with these other groups and makes major disclosures, the same disclosures that he made to the Justice Department about UBS, but also disclosures about the clients.
What’s good about the Senate disclosure is they had a court reporter who took it down. No one can deny it. It has the date. It has the statements. So as the Justice Department has attempted to mislead the public about what Mr. Birkenfeld did and when he did it, there’s a transcript that proves Birkenfeld right.
He was a traditional whistleblower. He did what he did to serve the interest. And what’s incredible is that taxpayers, you and I, are saving billions. As Juan correctly pointed out, UBS paid a $780 million fine. That’s the beginning of it. So far, 14,000 tax cheats -- these are millionaires, powerful people who had illegal Swiss accounts -- have all come in and voluntarily disclosed their crimes. Why? They only have to pay a penalty. They don’t go to jail. And their identities remain secret.
"Why? They only have to pay a penalty. They don’t go to jail. And their identities remain secret."
Very good Questions, Stephen Kohn ... (via Amy Goodman).
Why, Indeed? I'm sure Bradley Birkenfeld would like to know ...
But WHY is he the only one wondering ... about this very selective application of the Law.
Short answer: We still live in a world very much designed for two different Clienteles -- the "Haves and the Have-Nots."
Extreme Wealth -- you either have it, or you don't.
And "Having" ... is Priceless.