Bloomberg reported that UBS Group AG and Bradley Birkenfeld, a banker-turned-whistle-blower, were deemed by California Superior Court Judge Kim G. Dunning ‘to have too unclean hands to bring a malicious prosecution lawsuit against the real-estate developer Igor Olenicoff who had accused them of duping him into filing a false tax return’. The ruling was based on the legal doctrine that those who commit wrongdoing cannot sue others involved in it.
Olenicoff pleaded guilty in 2007 to failing to disclose about $200m in offshore accounts to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). He was ‘ was sentenced to probation after ponying up $52 million in back taxes, interest and civil fraud penalties’ reports Forbes while commenting on the subject. After his plea, Olenicoff sued UBS and Birkenfeld, claiming the Zurich-based bank committed fraud by not telling him he owed taxes. ‘That lawsuit was dismissed because Olenicoff had sworn in his guilty plea that, in the words of the judge, “he was not an innocent dupe’ adds Bloomberg.
As a reminder UBS avoided prosecution in February 2009 by admitting it helped US-related clients evade taxes from 2000 to 2007. The institution paid a fine of $780m, gave the IRS data on 250 hidden accounts, and later agreed to reveal information on 4,450 more.