The IRS has completely restored my faith in humanity, for I see finally that there remains some honour among theives. Zero Hedge reports the details (Source, Reuters):
Jailed UBS Employee Gets $104 Million From IRS For Exposing Swiss Bank Account Holders
Zero Hedge nicely summarizes the implication of this action:
Uncle Sam wants you, dear concerned citizen, to expose all other such evil Swiss bank account holders (electoral campaign implications here being painfully obvious). You will be richly rewarded. But watch your back, dear concerned citizen, if you ever succeed in escaping into the rarefied air of having 2 nickels to rub together, and decide to save them not on US soil, for some inexplicable reason, but, say, Zurich or Geneva.
See also: Foreign Financial Institutions could recover some of their costs for implementing FATCA
Yes, honor among thieves it is!
Maybe we should make a recommendation to CRA-our tax prof (former CRA empoloyee) told us that regular folks call in all the time to report their neighbors, families and friends. I don’t recall him saying they got a proceeds of any fines…..But I sure am watching my mouth LOL
I figured you might post this Petros!
I hope that if Birkensfeld ever steps foot in Switzerland again that he gets fined a minimum of CHF 50K for each American whose trust in Switzerland and Swiss law he violated.
Like Tyler Durden, I think this is clearly a pre-election escalation by the Democrats to further polarize the US. Just as you can expect more frantic efforts by the Democrats to ignite class, race and sex wars. Its too bad expats aren’t a more diverse group because then the Democrats might have been convinced to play this as expats being victims of Republican racism. Instead, expats are going to be cast with the same mold as the eeevil Republicans: racist, sexist, homophobic fatcat bigots who will do anything to avoid paying their fair share. It makes me glad I already renounced because that puts me in another demographic from the rest of you expat racists.
Ooops, I didn’t see this post, as I do not get notices when new posts are made… 🙁
I just responded to this story on another thread, and will repeat here and ask to have that one deleted…
Thanks for the Zero Hedge link. I saw a story about that on Linked In too. Couldn’t help but comment…
Here’s a report on CBCNews with a Canadian angle inserted.
I don’t receive new posts either. Tech support!
@ConfederateH. I know that most of us now ignore many of your outbursts, but didn’t you once accuse those who called you a racist, ‘racists’ for having done so? Or are you implying that you are now a racist of a different demographic because you have renounced?
Looks like Canada is making more anti-FATCA noises via the Globe and Mail in a September 6 updated version of an article published July 14, 2011 (thanks to Blaze at MS):
*bubblebustin, I think that ConfederateH is simply pointing out that expats are not getting the respect they deserve to have.
Ambiguous to say the least, but if that was what he was implying, he’d likely be categorized by Democrats as racist, sexist, homophobic fatcat bigot traitors who will do anything to avoid paying their fair share, including renouncing US citizenship, as they’ve proven they’re already more than pleased to do.
@Just Me “FATCANATICs” – love it! From the one who gave us DATCA & GATCA. We should appoint you to develop a new expat language!
@bubblebustin – thanks for this. I was not aware that the deadline extension was confirmed. This is great news for all those who are waiting for that Canadian citizenship to come through. Unless of course, Congress finds a way to enact a new law to make it harder to renounce/relinquish.
@usxcanada it actually could get quite complicated since there are some applications of residency that would apply to US citizens who are sojourning here, etc. Just think, they’d be required to pay US taxes, CDN taxes, report their foreign accounts to the US and their US accounts to CRA! And if Grassley succeeds with getting rid of FEIE? LOL
@bubblebustin: As wikipedia says:
“The exact definition of racism is controversial both because there is
little scholarly agreement about the meaning of the concept “race”, and
because there is also little agreement about what does and doesn’t
I believe that we are all racists, including every single black, white, mexican, indian and whatever else, everywhere across planet. Obama, the Democratic party, and the US media somehow have managed to saddle only the whites in the US with this mantle of guilt. To the progressives running the Anglo world only whites are racist and all other races are somehow inoculated. But look how France handles this stuff. I live in Switzerland but that is not even the point. I wouldn’t have anything to do with the problems of inner city black ghettos and drug wars in Detroit, Birmingham, LA or Baltimore if I lived in Switzerland or Durango Colorado. But you buy into this whole liberal white-guilt thing. You think that anyone “making it” in America should willingly pay exorbitant income taxes to support these disadvantaged minorities and all other progressive causes, you just don’t want to have to pay for it yourself because you, a US citizen just like all the other tax cheats, happen to live in Canada. You want to find someone a little more “racist” or little more “rich” or a little more “homelander” than yourself and stick them with their “fair share” bill while you continue to pretend to be “progressive”. By not trying to deny racism and by denying the legality and morality of income taxes altogether, I don’t expose my soul to the kind of hypocrisy that you so willingly do to yours.
What kind of government rewards an opportunistic crook / rat banker with USD 104 million?
Would that be the same government that hasn’t prosecuted a single banker from Wall Street’s too-big-to-fails?
Now, you too can go to a Fed Club for a rest and recuperation. @ $4600 an hour, for time served, not bad, eh…?? Here is the NY Times story….
What have I ever said that would lead you to make those conclusions about me? If you are going to make those kinds of harsh criticisms, I expect you to back them up with fact, otherwise they are a figment of your imagination.
@AbusedExpat I agree with your comments. Birkenfeld is also a CROOK and an enemy of democracy and freedom everywhere. Reward a guy with 104 million for violating Swiss law and screwing people who had his confidence (and the guy has the nerve to pursue even further rewards beyond the 104 mil??). At the same time, very few of the bankers whose folly screwed the world economy and honest investors out of billions got what was coming to them. Many of them got their golden handshakes and are probably still drawing fees for sitting on boards of various companies, bullshiting their way through while fidgeting with their gonads. United States of Arrogance.
Here is the RTS nightly news story on Bradley-boy: http://www.rts.ch/video/info/journal-19h30/4264238-etats-unis-bradley-birkenfeld-decroche-le-pactole-pour-avoir-livre-19-000-clients-d-ubs-aux-etats-unis.html
Other Swiss articles:
What is irksomely odd is that the announcement comes on the 11th anniversary of the 9-11 tragedy and ensuing mess.
It does not upset me so much that Birkenfeld may have exposed people who were earning money within the US through otherwise legal or illegal activities and not paying taxes on it and using UBS to hide the proceeds and interest on proceeds. What is unacceptable and what really pisses me off is that he did not go through the proper channels within Switzerland to expose this. He should have consulted with the Swiss authorities before doing anything with the US. At that time, Swiss authorities did not have the US breathing down their necks and might have had the gumption to enforce the primacy of Swiss law to protect those whose dominant nationality and/or residence was not in the US. What he has done has helped to ruin the lives of many bone fide residents of Switzerland and other countries outside the US (bank clients and employees alike) whose only “crime” may have been to live their lives in their home countries while respecting local laws.
Such people are going to be watching Birkenfeld for a very long time. It ain’t all roses for you buddy. Somebody will eventually get a valid legal cause of action on you and make it stick in a very expensive way.
I am not aware of Birkenfeld’s current legal status within the Swiss penal system, but I suspect that he would be arrested were he to set foot on Swiss soil. Oddly, there does not seem to be an Interpol Red Notice for him as there was for the HSBC IT guy that sold data to European governments and is now awaiting trial. Perhaps someone here at IBS can remind the Swiss Ministère Publique to issue one against him. (By the way, here is Assange’s Red Notice: http://www.interpol.int/News-and-media/News-media-releases/2012/PR065) You can check the Red Notice database by clicking on the icon in the upper-right-hand corner of the site.
That Birkenfeld has already served prison time in the US should NOT release him from penal sanctions in Switzerland under the principle of double jeopardy. He was sentenced in the US for his alleged conspiracy with others to help “defraud” the US. In Switzerland, he is manifestly (based on evidence already produced in US court) guilty of other things, such as massive industrial espionage, performing illegal acts for a foreign state, and
violations of bank secrecy, among many other potential civil and criminal charges that one could lodge against him.
If Switzerland could ever get the “habeas grabbus” upon him I would hope that some of the 104 million could be clawed back and that whatever is left over he will have to pay for with more years in Swiss prisons.
I do recall hearing a few years ago that the Canton of Geneva was looking for him to pay hundreds of thousands of francs in back taxes and that they had been unable to contact him. I have been looking for news articles on that for months but cannot find them, if anybody can find anything on this, please post. It is possible that he is still registered as a Geneva resident and liable to income tax there. This having been said, if he has been subjected to an automatic “taxation d’office” for failure to file for the years that he was in detention and prison in the US (such taxation would have been based on his most recent tax declaration) I would expect that Geneva allow him to file zero tax returns for those years and to release him from tax on fictive assumed income that he did not actually earn in Switzerland. A “taxation d’office” is invalid if the resulting tax has little to do with the actual situation of the person. Anything else would be an unfair precedent–if Switzerland is to claw anything back, it must be fair and square based upon his criminal and civil violations of Swiss law, not on imputed, fictive, income in Switzerland that he did not earn or receive.
In fact, next time I see my Swiss legislators, I will ask them what is going to be done. I would think that Birkenfeld would also be a potential target of some of Hornung’s clients as well as SwissRespect.
I’ve said about all I can. I am going to spend the rest of today being really pissed off. The whole world seems to be turned upon its ear!!
@Petros, thanks for starting this thread. I was so upset when I heard about this yesterday that I could not even write about it.
@BB: Well if you voted for Obama, then it stands to reason that you are a “progressive” liberal and not a conservative. If you are a progressive you are by definition for progressive taxation and redistribution. If you are for progressive taxation then you believe that the government has the right to set “fair share” tax levels in order to determine the progression. If you are an expat who believes that progressive taxes determined by government are fine but don’t like the progression that they determine is appropriate for people in your circumstances, you are a hypocrite because you think everyone else should accept their “fair share” but you won’t.
@ConfederateH He should get additional fines and prison time for each SWISS person he screwed as well as USPs and any other nationality who was not resident in the US at the time (maybe I should include recent green cards who live in the US and didn’t know about FATCA/FBAR/DT as well). He is an educated man. I would guess that he speaks at least French. If not, when he is arrested, we will give him mandatory classes. We’ll make him learn, as painfully as possible– it would be punishment, but constructive. I don’t know if he is racist or multi-cultural or something in between, but he must have pain points. I don’t know what sort of people he likes, hates, tolerates, or doesn’t tolerate. There are plenty of people on unemployment in Switzerland (whether or not they speak English) who would be willing to earn a modest wage to pound French into his head. For example, if perhaps, he doesn’t like Africans, (despite his nose apparantly being up Barry’s ####) we can arrange for a tough French-Speaking West-African momma to be his French teacher. When he is not learning French he can do KP cutting hot peppers, onions and other things for some good west african grub–let his eyes burn that way. If he doesn’t like some other ethnic group or sort of people, there are plenty from other ethic groups or walks of society that might need a job. If he likes all cultures in general, then we’ll find some very sassy, annoying person who nobody likes to be around to teach him.
Once he speaks French, then we can make good use of him. Let’s assign him to asylum detention facilities as toilet cleaner, translator, and all around go-for. With a sign around his neck that says in many languages “I don’t have a choice, I am forced to work here because I am a dishonest dork. Switzerland is not free lunch, you break the law, you pay the price—learn from my mistakes, do not emulate me!”. That way we can correct his violations and educate people about what Switzerland used to and should still stand for at the same time.
He deserves much worse than that. But I would like to make his punishment constructive. He would learn stuff, eventually have a new perspective and be able to help people. Only when he makes it through such waterboarding techniques (ah, waterboarding isn’t torture is it— Bushie-poo and Barry-pie don’t seem to think so?) then we might be able to forgive him and let him go his way. After he pays up a big portion of his 104mil + whatever else he manages to glean in “rewards” from his treason against Switzerland who welcomed him and gave him a job.
We could at the same time be fair with him and put some salary in his bank account corresponding to his lost years at a correct white collar wage (bonus forfeited of course), a little in his 2nd and 3rd pillar as well, just like the rest of us. The rest, we seize, Bradley-boy.
One day, we are going to punish Bradley-boy. We will be rough, tough, but fair. In the old days in Switzerland, people used to have their heads cut off with a sword for betraying the country. We are much kinder and gentler now.
@ConfederateH as to exchange with BB Please quit being pissed of with our fellow members of the movement. Direct your rage at those that are really causing all of this. Bubble is right. If you have a bone to pick with one of us, please make complete arguments so we can discuss. The only way we can win is by analysing the hell out of all of this and coming to unrefutable conclusions.
“you are a hypocrite because you think everyone else should accept their “fair share” but you won’t.” We accept our fair share where we live, not double taxation.
@ConfederateH, yes I agree with Jeff. It is not constructive to make comments personal. No one here actually takes such attacks seriously, when they are really a type of straw man argument, and it is obvious to all. Bubblebustin is right to say that you make unfair conclusions about her views, and it is not generally helpful to make personal attacks and it is more useful to try to persuade by other means.
I for one appreciate very much when you (ConfederateH) make useful contributions to the discussion and am thankful for your involvement–as I am for everyone who participates, especially regulars like Bubblebustin! It is my opinion, however, that it is much more constructive to take on, for example, the typical Obama voter, rather than attack the current participants in this dialogue. It is better to make comments that are about abstractions and generalities than to make them personal. This helps us to be more effective in our quest, because people tend to shut off listening when it gets too personal. Generally speaking, personal insults are patently obvious to others as ineffective, ad hominem rhetoric.
It appears that ConfederationH is of the opinion that people should be allowed to vote only once a lifetime, as this vote will determine who they are as a human being and where they stand politically for the rest of their lives. Obama is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, there’s no doubt. What ConfH doesn’t seem to appreciate is any effort I make to persuade others to recognize the same. So be it.
*bubblebustin, I had considered voting for Obama at the time, because I didn’t know then what I know now. But, I disagreed with his foreign policy and Ralph Nader was a better candidate, so Obama didn’t get my vote. So, I can understand why some voted for Obama since I had considered doing the same.
I have never voted in an American election, nor will I ever vote in an American election. That, however, has not prevented me from having an opinion on who might make the better President. I would hope that MY OPINION, in a particular election year, would not define who I am.
Petros, thanks for your statement regarding our being constructive rather than slinging personal insults in what we are all working toward. We don’t all come from the same political places and that we can keep to the issues is what makes Isaac Brock successful and a respected resource. Our discourse here should welcome every newcomer who comes here (starting from, perhaps, their OMG moment) and make present contributors here want to stay. I really want everyone to stick around and give and get information they need, along contributing their varying opinions and expertise on issues.
This guy gets no free ride. The US government will of course want to tax his reward, and then is his bill for plastic surgery, security, and looking over his shoulder the rest of his life.
Out of 4000 names disclosed to the IRS, I’m sure there’s one nasty person in the bunch who will want ‘payback’ from this guy.
@Petros: Murder is the highest form of hypocrisy. Every sin could be graded under a scale of hypocrisy. I have no patience for hypocrisy. Besides this kind of comment from bubblebustin is typical:
“ConfederateH. I know that most of us now ignore many of your outbursts”
There are many other of her comments in past threads just like that but I certainly won’t bother to search for them. You may think its okay for her to talk down her liberal nose to me and then scold me with this: “It is not constructive to make comments personal.” when I rebut, but I don’t. Her comment was very condescending in the most calculated liberal fashion.
And all I really did was repeat a relatively simple assertion. If you are a liberal/progressive/statist/democrat and you support “social justice” and a government monopoly on just about all economic aspects of our lives, including our health, then how can you claim that the state is not justified in taxing citizens in any fashion that it deems “fair”? The saying is: “don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax the guy behind the tree”. That perfectly describes the liberal readers of IBS.
http://www.moodystax.com/moodystax-blog/21-us-taxation-services/203-tax-whistleblower-gets-104m-from-irs.html Published on Wednesday, 12 September 2012 Written by Roy A. Berg JD, LLM and James Gifford JD, LLM