The US Department of Justice announced that Maerki Baumann & Co. AG (Maerki Baumann) reached a solution under the US Tax Program. The institution signed a Non-Prosecution Agreement (NPA) and will pay a penalty.
‘Maerki Baumann willfully and actively helped U.S. taxpayers evade their tax obligations and cheat the American public’, said Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division. And she added ‘Today’s agreement reveals the extent of such conduct and holds Maerki Baumann accountable, requiring the bank to make a detailed disclosure of its cross-border activities, pay an appropriate penalty, and provide continuing and extensive cooperation against its representatives, accountholders and other institutions’.
According to the DoJ statement ‘In some instances, the accountholders had disclosed to relationship managers that their accounts were undeclared.
Maerki Baumann and its relationship managers also:
- Permitted assets in an account held by a known US person to be transferred in 2006 to a new account held by a life insurance company, known as an “insurance wrapper”;
- Processed requests from US taxpayers for cash or precious metal withdrawals, thus not triggering any transaction reporting requirements;
- Permitted a withdrawal of approximately one million Swiss francs from a US client’s account after the client refused to declare money in the account in the United States;
- Delivered cash withdrawals to US clients in Switzerland; and
- Offered credit, debit or travel cash cards, which facilitated the access to or use of undeclared funds on deposit at Maerki Baumann’.
In the Maerki Baumann’s NPA it is stated that since August, 2008, the bank had 571 US-related accounts, with maximum assets under management of approximately $790m, including assets of declared accounts. Maerki Baumann will pay a penalty of $23.92m.