February 4, 2016
Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of the Southern District of New York, and Chief Richard Weber of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, (IRS-CI), announced the filing of criminal charges against Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd. (Julius Baer or the company), a financial institution headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. Julius Baer is charged with conspiring with many of its U.S. taxpayer-clients and others to help U.S. taxpayers hide billions of dollars in offshore accounts from the IRS and to evade U.S. taxes on the income earned in those accounts.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo and U.S. Attorney Bharara also announced a deferred prosecution agreement with Julius Baer (the agreement) under which the company admits that it knowingly assisted many of its U.S. taxpayer-clients in evading their tax obligations under U.S. law. The admissions are contained in a detailed Statement of Facts attached to the agreement. The agreement requires Julius Baer to pay a total of $547 million by no later than Feb. 9, 2016, including through a parallel civil forfeiture action also filed today in the Southern District of New York.
The criminal charge is contained in an Information (the information) alleging one count of conspiracy to (1) defraud the IRS, (2) to file false federal income tax returns and (3) to evade federal income taxes. If Julius Baer abides by all of the terms of the agreement, the government will defer prosecution on the Information for three years and then seek to dismiss the charges.
In addition, two Julius Baer client advisers, Daniela Casadei and Fabio Frazzetto, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court today. Casadei, 52, a Swiss citizen, and Frazzetto, 42, an Italian and Swiss citizen, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the IRS, to evade federal income taxes and to file false federal income tax returns. Casadei and Frazzetto each face a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison.