Scott Michel Quoted in Swissinfo, Banks Say U.S. Tax Deal Must Respect Swiss Law
Excerpt taken from article.
The U.S. has turned up the heat on Switzerland after finding evidence that Credit Suisse and other banks allegedly helped its citizens to break the law by hiding their wealth from the tax authorities.
The fact that the second-highest ranking DoJ official, James Cole, has become publicly involved suggests to U.S. tax lawyer Scott Michel that the U.S. is not likely to withdraw its demands for new bank client data.
"It is a mistake to assume that when the DoJ makes a demand that they are bluffing," Michel told swissinfo.ch. "There appears to be pent-up frustration that two years after the UBS case there is still evidence that other Swiss banks are helping U.S. citizens hide their money away."
He added: "The DoJ is not even asking for an exchange of information – a lengthy process involving case-by-case examination. They want a large batch of Swiss banking client information and they want it now."
According to Michel, the U.S. authorities appear to be building a legal basis to impose "draconian financial penalties" on Swiss banks that could dwarf UBS's $780 million ($990 million) fine.
Swiss media are also reporting that the U.S. would be prepared to start criminal legal proceedings against banks if they do not comply with their demands.