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UBS Client, 78, Charged With Tax Evasion in Illinois Case

A 78-year-old client of UBS AG was charged with tax evasion for using a Swiss bank account to hide income from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

Peter Troost, the owner of Troost Memorials, which designs and sells cemetery monuments and gravestones, was charged yesterday in federal court in Chicago. Troost transferred income to his UBS account, evading payment of at least $193,641 in taxes from 2007 to 2009, according to a charging document known as a criminal information that typically precedes a guilty plea.

Troost, of Skokie, Illinois, worked with a UBS banker on the island of Jersey and failed to declare his account on his tax returns, according to a statement by U.S. Attorney Gary Shapiro. An attorney for Troost, Theodore A. Sinars, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on the charges.

Since 2009, at least 85 people have been charged by the U.S. in a crackdown on offshore tax evasion, including two dozen offshore bankers, lawyers and advisers. Zurich-based UBS, Switzerland’s largest bank, avoided prosecution in the U.S. in 2009. It paid $780 million, admitted it fostered tax evasion and later handed over data on more than 4,800 accounts.

More than 38,000 Americans avoided prosecution by entering an IRS amnesty program in which they paid back taxes and penalties while disclosing the banks and bankers who helped them hide offshore accounts.

The case is U.S. v. Troost, 13-cr-185, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).

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