CNBC Quotes Scott Michel: Tax Dodgers Should Not Be Heartened by This Verdict

CNBC quoted Scott D. Michel regarding the acquittal of Raoul Weil, a former senior private banking official at UBS. Notwithstanding the acquittal, Mr. Michel affirmed that risks remain for American taxpayers who have not properly reported offshore assets. For the complete article, please visit CNBC's website.

Excerpt taken from the article.
Still, experts said Americans with money hidden offshore should not assume the acquittal means they are in the clear. "I still think that there is a huge risk for American taxpayers who have not yet properly reported their offshore assets," said Scott Michel, president of the law firm Caplin & Drysdale. "I think it would be a mistake to conclude that this would force a tectonic shift in the nature of the overall offshore enforcement program."

The last day of Weil's trial was marked by a surprising decision by the defense team: They did not call a single witness to defend Weil, and instead argued the government had failed to make the case that Weil was involved in illegal activities carried out by those below him in the bank.

"It's a gutsy call," said Michel of the defense decision not to call any witnesses. "But when it works, it's great. When you get into a courtroom, anything can happen."


The government gave non-prosecution agreements to some of the Swiss bankers testifying against Weil, which the defense said gave those bankers an incentive to testify against Weil.

"Prosecutors have to make deals with witnesses to garner testimony," Michel said. And despite the acquittal, he added, "I don't think you can second guess the decision of a prosecutor."


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