Former Tax Prosecutor Observes that Credit Suisse Guilty Plea is Latest Development in U.S. Government Crackdown on Offshore Tax

  Former Tax Prosecutor Observes that Credit Suisse Guilty Plea is Latest   Development in U.S. Government Crackdown on Offshore Tax Evasion by American   Citizens  Business Wire  ST. LOUIS -- May 20, 2014  Justin Gelfand, a former federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Tax Division who is now an attorney at the law firm Capes, Sokol, Goodman & Sarachan, P.C., observes that yesterday’s guilty plea by one of Switzerland’s largest banks is the latest sign that the U.S. government is going after Americans with undisclosed foreign bank accounts.  “Our law firm is currently responding to inquiries from business professionals and individuals throughout the U.S. who have contacted us about their overseas financial holdings,” Gelfand says. “This is clearly impacting U.S. citizens in a personal way,” says Gelfand.  U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced in Washington, D.C. yesterday thatCredit Suisse AG, a Zurich-based bank that is one of the world’s largest wealth managers, has pleaded guilty to criminal charges relating to “an extensive and wide-ranging conspiracy to help U.S. taxpayers evade taxes.”Holder said, “This is the largest bank to plead guilty in 20 years. The bank will pay a total of $1.8 billion in the form of a fine of over $1.13 billion and nearly $670 million in restitution to the IRS.” Holder noted thatthe guilty plea caps a year-long investigation ofCredit Suisseby the Justice Department.  “Federal authorities have asserted that Americans with undisclosed foreign bank accounts may be found,” says Gelfand. “With FATCA and the latest public prosecutions in this area, it is true that foreign accountholders are more likely to be discovered today than they were at any point in U.S. history.”  FATCA, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, is a law that greatly increases U.S. government access to information about bank and other financial accounts held by U.S. taxpayers overseas.  “As we advise clients of our firm, there are strong defenses to allegations involving offshore tax evasion,” says Gelfand. “People who come in before the government finds them have a number of options that may help them avoid going to federal prison for tax crimes.”  Gelfand explains that the IRS allows for so-called “voluntary disclosures,” through which eligible people with previously undisclosed bank accounts may be able to avoid criminal prosecution by disclosing their accounts, filing accurate amended tax returns, and paying penalties.  “Under the IRS’s voluntary disclosure programs, you have to come to the government before the government knows about you,” Gelfand says. “This is a situation where time is very much of the essence and strategy as to how to proceed is critical.”  In its report “Offshore Tax Evasion: The Effort to Collect Unpaid Taxes on Billions in Hidden Offshore Accounts” this year, the U.S. Senate allegedthatZurich-based bank Credit Suisse Group AG has more than 22,000 account customers in the U.S. with assets that may total between $10 billion and $20 billion. Credit Suisse has offices in 13 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., and more than 50 countries.  Gelfand focuses his practice primarily on criminal defense, tax controversy, white collar, and litigation matters. He publishes a tax fraud blog athttp://www.taxrefundfraudblog.com.  Capes, Sokol, Goodman & Sarachan, P.C. in Clayton, Missouri, is a firm of seasoned attorneys, committed to achieving business and individual client objectives in the most effective and efficient manner possible. When resolution requires litigation or the skills of an innovative transactional attorney, this group of attorneys has a long and distinguished record of success.  Contact:  Capes, Sokol, Goodman & Sarachan, P.C. Lois A. LaDriere, 314-505-5472 Marketing Manager http://www.capessokol.com or Jeff Dunlap Communications Jeff Dunlap, 314-409-5203 Media relations  
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