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UBS France Executive Charged in Paris Tax-Evasion Investigation

An unnamed executive in UBS AG’s French unit was charged yesterday in an investigation into tax-evasion allegations.

The executive is under investigation for aiding in illicit marketing, laundering and benefiting from the practices, Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre, a spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutors office, said today.

The charges are the first levied in the probe, which was opened in April after a preliminary inquiry by the French customs service into a February 2011 complaint by the Prudential Control Authority, France’s banking regulator. Investigators are looking into the bank’s internal controls and transfers between French accounts and undeclared ones in Switzerland, according to an April report in Les Echos.

UBS France “will fully cooperate with the French authorities,” the Zurich-based bank’s local unit said today in a statement.

UBS avoided prosecution in the U.S. in 2009 by paying $780 million, admitting it helped thousands of Americans evade taxes and turning over the names of 250 American clients to U.S. authorities. UBS later revealed another 4,450 accounts held by clients in the country.

The charge was reported earlier today by Agence France-Presse.

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