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Bank Admits to Facilitating Tax Evasion

Posted in Offshore Account Update on February 27, 2015 | Share

The Department of Justice has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with Bank Leumi Group. Bank Leumi admitted to helping U.S. investors hide money and assets in offshore accounts. Bank Leumi is another in the long line of financial institutions that has been investigated by the Justice Department.  Like most of the banks caught up in an investigation, the bank will turn over information on U.S. account holders.

The Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice are determined to continue aggressively prosecuting banks and investors who have participated in schemes to hide money offshore. Investors have the option to voluntarily disclose certain violations of IRS reporting requirements to minimize potential penalties associated with keeping money offshore without alerting the IRS.

Not everyone is eligible for voluntary disclosure programs and you must take action before you come under investigation. If you have income earned offshore you did not declare or if you did not file your Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Account (FBAR) forms each year, you need help today from a Washington DC tax law firm.

Bank Leumi Enters Into Plea Agreement & Turns Over Investor Names

Bank Leumi is an international financial institution based in Israel. The bank has admitted to helping U.S. taxpayers prepare false tax returns and provide false returns to the IRS over a 10-year period of time.  Among other things, the bank maintained accounts under assumed names, held mail services and made collateralized loans so clients could leverage offshore assets while keeping their foreign accounts hidden from the U.S. government.

The bank admitted wrongdoing and entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice. The agreement was filed in California court and it is the first time that an Israeli bank has admitted to this type of criminal conduct.

Bank Leumi has branches in seven countries, and several subsidiary banks are part of the deferred prosecution agreement. As part of the agreement, Bank Leumi Group will pay $270 million to the United States government.  A total of $157 million of this money is paid as part of the Justice Department’s Swiss bank program on behalf of Leumi Private Bank in Switzerland. The Swiss bank program lets certain banks in Switzerland avoid being criminally prosecuted if the banks pay penalties and make a full disclosure of accounts held by U.S. taxpayers at their bank.

Bank Leumi Group made information available on more than 1,500 account holders who are U.S. citizens and who have foreign accounts. This information includes names and identifying details that the government can use to investigate potential tax evaders. Bank Leumi Group will also continue to provide the Department of Justice information on future cross-border business and will cooperate with other investigations.

Investors who had accounts at any Bank Leumi subsidiary could find themselves under investigation and potentially charged with criminal tax evasion. If you have accounts at this bank or any offshore banks and you have not complied with all IRS requirements, now is the time to talk to a skilled attorney about what legal options you may have to protect your finances and avoid jail time. Contact DC tax lawyer Kevin Thorn at the Thorn Law Group today.


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