Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Swiss Adviser's Mailing Error Helps U.S. Nail Tax Evaders

An adviser in Zurich inadvertently incriminates U.S. tax evaders, to the delight of the IRS
Swiss Adviser's Mailing Error Helps U.S. Nail Tax Evaders
Photograph by Barry Rosenthal

Everybody knows the dangers of putting incriminating information in an e-mail. All it takes is a click on the forward button for your darkest secrets to reach your worst enemies. Beda Singenberger—who lives in Zurich and ran Sinco Treuhand, a wealth management and tax advisory business—discovered that snail mail can do damage, too. Over an 11-year period, federal prosecutors charge, the Swiss financial adviser helped 60 people in the U.S. hide $184 million in secret offshore accounts bearing colorful names such as Real Cool Investments and Wanderlust Foundation. The basis for the charge? According to a prosecutor, Singenberger put a list of his U.S. clients—with incriminating details—in the mail. And now it’s in the hands of federal authorities.

Singenberger’s disclosures “certainly put a lot of people in the frying pan”—Jeffrey Denner
Illustration by 731