French Prosecutors Said to Recommend UBS Face Trial in Tax Case

  • Investigative judges will have final say on any trial
  • Prosecutors say UBS French unit should face trial, source says

French prosecutors are recommending that UBS Group AG and its French unit face a criminal trial over allegations it helped clients evade taxes following a probe that caused the bank to post a 1.1 billion-euro ($1.2 billion) bail to cover a potential penalty, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Investigative judges will have the final say in the matter after France’s financial prosecutor Monday issued final recommendations in the case, said the person who asked not to be identified as the probe is confidential. Prosecutors accused the Swiss bank of laundering of proceeds of tax fraud and conspiring to illicitly solicit clients on French territory, the person said.

French prosecutors recommended that several people including Raoul Weil, who once ran UBS’s global wealth-management business out of Switzerland, answer charges in court, the person said. UBS representatives didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Agence France-Presse reported on the prosecutors’ recommendations earlier on Monday.

UBS declined to comment. Weil’s representative didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Switzerland has tried to shake off its reputation as one of the world’s largest tax havens by cooperating with other governments trying to recoup undeclared assets and watering down banking secrecy laws. In 2009, UBS paid $780 million to the U.S. to avoid prosecution, admitting it helped thousands of Americans to evade taxes and agreeing to turn over information on their accounts.

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