Swiss bank UBS to pay $780 M in US tax fraud probe

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Feb 19 2009 07:44 AM | Updated as of Feb 19 2009 07:49 PM

WASHINGTON – Swiss banking giant UBS has agreed to pay $780 million to the US government and cooperate in a tax fraud probe, including naming scofflaw clients, the Justice Department said Wednesday.

"UBS AG, Switzerland?s largest bank, has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement on charges of conspiring to defraud the United States by impeding the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)," the Justice Department said in a statement.

"As part of the deferred prosecution agreement and in an unprecedented move, UBS, based on an order by the Swiss Financial Markets Supervisory Authority (FINMA), has agreed to immediately provide the United States government with the identities of, and account information for, certain United States customers of UBS?s cross-border business," it said.

UBS's agreement "to pay $780 million in fines, penalties, interest and restitution" was accepted earlier Wednesday by a US federal judge in Florida.

"In light of the bank's willingness to acknowledge responsibility for its actions and omissions, its cooperation and remedial actions to date, and its promised continuing cooperation and remedial actions, the government will recommend dismissal of the charge, provided the bank fully carries out its obligations under the agreement," the Justice Department said.