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Delay occurs in Florida tax evasion trial

Financial malfeasance can occur at all levels, from someone selling credit card numbers off the street to high-ranking bankers accused of fraudulent activity with large sums of money. The latter is at the center of a new Florida tax crime case, wherein U.S. authorities have now charged a prolific UBS banker with tax fraud. The latest development in the case involves a Florida judge agreeing to delay the trial for eight months.

The banker's lawyers had requested the delay. They felt that they needed more time to fully address a voluminous amount of information that is being used as evidence. Much of that information has come to light in the past couple weeks, necessitating the request for more time to review it. Originally set for Feb. 18, the trial will now commence Oct. 14, according to an order signed Thursday by a federal judge.

The banker at the center of the case, 54, is accused of having used secret Swiss bank accounts to help Americans avoid paying taxes. He was formerly the head of wealth at UBS, a Switzerland-based bank. That bank has been under investigation for a long time in regards to similar issues, agreeing to a $780 million fine in 2009.

The banker's lawyers assert that there are 4 million pages of documents related to the U.S. government's investigation of UBS. At the same time, they say that very little of that relates directly to their client. Further, they say that the data lacks key pieces of metadata needed to organize it for review.

In this case, the banker and his lawyers will need to review many documents before trial. Other cases may have less to review. Presenting a strong defense is necessary in order to have the best chance at a positive outcome.

Source: Reuters, "Florida tax evasion trial of ex-UBS banker delayed eight months" Zachary Fagenson, Feb. 07, 2014

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