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U.S. Outlines Penalties for Swiss Banks in Tax Probe

Swiss banks that seek to avoid prosecution for fostering tax evasion through secret accounts held by U.S. clients face penalties of as much as 50 percent of the value of those assets, the U.S. government said.

Hundreds of Swiss banks could be covered by a U.S.- Switzerland accord over how to punish financial institutions that used secret accounts to help American clients hide assets from U.S. tax authorities. The U.S. said yesterday it will continue criminal probes of 14 banks while allowing others to avoid prosecution by paying penalties and disclosing accounts.