UBS Client Berg Admits to Failing to Report Swiss AccountDavid Voreacos
A former UBS AG client, Christopher B. Berg, pleaded guilty to failing to file a required report with the U.S. Treasury Department about a Swiss bank account used to shelter some of his income from taxation.
Berg, a self-employed marketing consultant, admitted today in federal court in San Jose, California, that he didn’t file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Account, or FBAR, for a UBS account he set up in 2000, according to court filings. Berg, who works in the furniture industry, opened the account in the name of a British Virgin Islands corporation, CC Ventures Inc., he admitted.
“Those who hide their assets and income in offshore accounts should realize that there is no safe haven from the IRS,” Richard Weber, chief of the IRS criminal investigation division, said in a statement.
Zurich-based UBS, the largest Swiss bank, was charged with conspiracy in February 2009 and avoided prosecution by admitting it aided tax evasion, paying $780 million and handing over account data on 250 clients. It later disclosed information on about 4,450 more accounts.
In a crackdown on offshore tax evasion, the U.S. Justice Department has charged dozens of U.S. taxpayers as well as more than two dozen offshore bankers, lawyers and advisers.
Berg, of Portola Valley, California, admitted to depositing $642,070 in compensation in his UBS account from 2001 to 2005. In 2001, he withdrew $28,000 to buy a vehicle. Berg also withdrew $58,000 and 10,000 euros ($13,567) from UBS branches in Europe, he admitted. He also used a Eurocard bank card associated with the account while in Europe, he admitted.
The tax harm associated with Berg’s conduct is $270,757, according to prosecutors.
Berg faces as long as five years in prison when he sentenced on July 8. His attorney, Ed Robbins, didn’t immediately return a call or e-mail seeking comment on the case.
The case is U.S. v. Berg, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).