Swiss bank will pay $122.9 million to the U.S. for helping Americans hide billions in assets

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A private Swiss bank will pay $122.9 million in back taxes and penalties after admitting it helped clients hide assets from the IRS between 2008 and 2014. According to court filings and the Justice Department, Banque Pictet & Cie, Co helped a group of U.S. taxpayers hide $5.6 billion in […]

A private Swiss bank will pay $122.9 million in back taxes and penalties after admitting it helped clients hide assets from the IRS between 2008 and 2014.

According to court filings and the Justice Department, Banque Pictet & Cie, Co helped a group of U.S. taxpayers hide $5.6 billion in order to conceal income, which saved them $50.6 million in taxes over those years.

The payment to the government covers taxes the bank’s clients owed, the fees the bank made on the undeclared accounts and $39 million in penalties.

“Banque Pictet et Cie admitted to actively helping U.S. taxpayers use coded accounts, foreign trusts and entities, nominee beneficiaries and other deceits to conceal their income and assets abroad,” acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg said in a Justice Department press release.

The money was held in 1,637 Swiss bank accounts by Banque Pictet, a wealth and asset management firm that is part of the Pictet Group, a financial services company that said it had $691 billion in assets as of June 30.

The firm entered into a deferred prosecution agreement that requires it to cooperate with government investigations. That could include civil or criminal inquiries into the people whose assets the bank hid.

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