Monday, June 18, 2012

Fraud Watch: Israeli Tax Preparers Snared

Israeli-American tax preparers allegedly helped U.S. clients hide millions. According to the WSJ in a sign the U.S. government is moving beyond Switzerland in its pursuit of secret offshore accounts, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service announced the indictment of three Israeli-American tax preparers, who are charged with helping U.S. taxpayers hide millions of dollars in two Israeli banks.

The U.S. since 2009 has been cracking down on U.S. taxpayers hiding assets abroad. As part of an agreement to avoid criminal charges, Swiss banking giant UBS UBS +2.22% turned over the names of more than 4,000 customers and paid a $780 million fine.

Now the U.S. government is casting a wider net.  According to the indictment, announced Friday, the three men set up offshore corporations in Belize and elsewhere that held secret accounts at one Israeli bank's Luxembourg branch and another Israeli bank's Switzerland-Luxembourg branch on behalf of six clients….

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