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Guilty plea made in offshore account case

The federal government has shown an increased willingness to bring criminal charges against those suspected of committing tax evasion using offshore accounts. Recently, a man pled guilty to criminal charges in a U.S. tax evasion case.

The case involves a man who recently moved to Switzerland and who used to be a resident of Ohio. The man has been accused of committing tax evasion in connection to a hidden offshore account.

Allegedly, the man held a hidden account with a Swiss bank. From 2002 to 2008, the man allegedly failed to report to the IRS the interest this account generated.

The man faced charges for filing false tax returns in connection to these allegations. On Tuesday, he pled guilty to these charges. The man reportedly has also admitted to authorities that he held a hidden account with a second Swiss bank.

The Wall Street Journal article which reported this story did not state what penalties the man could face in connection to his guilty plea. A representative of the man has claimed that the man is willing to cooperate with authorities. Suspect cooperation is a factor which can sometimes play a role in a judge's sentencing decision.

As we have mentioned before, the U.S. government has been getting very aggressive in trying to combat the use of unreported offshore accounts by U.S. taxpayers. Cooperating witnesses are one tool that authorities will sometimes use in tax evasion investigations or prosecutions.

Thus, it will be interesting to see if the government does ask the man who pled guilty in this case for cooperation. It will also be interesting to see if this case will lead to other tax evasion prosecutions.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Man Pleads Guilty To Hiding UBS Account; Also Admits Credit Suisse Link," (Article no longer available online) Brent Kendall, 8 March 2011

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