July 28, 2018

UBS Whistleblower Birkenfeld Points to Political Fraud

Editor’s note: Thanks to the False Claims Act, IRS-related fraud is being reported and exposed more than ever due to the brave efforts of whistleblowers – who then get rewarded for their actions. This older blog post is from our Qui Tam archives and is worth viewing and reading again.

Bradley Birkenfeld, the former banker who blew the whistle and helped uncover the largest tax fraud scheme to date came forward last month with additional information. Birkenfeld is now claiming that U.S. politicians took advantage of the same Swiss bank account scheme as many of the country’s executives.

Birkenfeld is currently serving a 40-month term in federal prison for his part in the UBS tax evasion scheme. Although he blew the whistle on the scam, federal prosecutors claim that he withheld important information about his own dealings.

From prison, he alleged over the phone that only the bank’s top executives knew about what they called the PEP Office (Politically Exposed Persons) for politicians who were seeking to store undisclosed money away in Swiss bank accounts. Birkenfeld alleges that the New York based “”referral desk”” that steered many rich Americans to the Swiss branch of UBS also served political clients whose names have not been revealed.

Birkenfeld’s lawyers are currently seeking clemency from President Obama on the ground of Birkenfeld’s importance in uncovering the largest tax evasion scheme in American history.

Are YOU interested in learning more about the rights, responsibilities, options and possible financial windfalls that come with serving as a whistleblower in business situations? Berg & Androphy have a practice area dedicated to this subject. Please visit our website section on Qui Tam and False Claims Act litigation to learn more.