Chris Rizek and Scott Michel Comment on Wegelin Guilty Plea


In an interview with The National, Christopher S. Rizek and Scott D. Michel comment on the guilty plea of Wegelin, one of Switzerland's oldest private banks.

Excerpt taken from the article.

The United States government has raised the stakes in its crackdown on Swiss banks through a hard-charging prosecution that has forced the closing of a 272-year-old Swiss firm for offering tax-evasion services to wealthy Americans.

Tax lawyers and former prosecutors said that the closing of Wegelin & Co, Switzerland's oldest private bank, served as a stark warning for some Swiss banks under investigation, especially smaller firms such as Wegelin.

"The Justice Department wanted a scalp to send a message to all the other banks, in particular the small cantonal and private banks," said Christopher Rizek, a tax lawyer at Caplin & Drysdale in Washington, and a senior former Treasury department tax official.

"Clearly there is another process at work here and it's one in which there is now not going to be a compelled disclosure in connection with a plea."  said Scott Michel, a tax lawyer at Caplin & Drysdale in Washington with many wealthy clients of Swiss banks.

To view the full article, please go to The National's website.


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