A Los Angeles, California man pled guilty to one count of failing to file a Foreign Bank Account Form TDF 90.22-1 (FBAR) pursuant to the Bank Secrecy Act 31 USC 5314. This is the fourth person with a UBS Swiss bank account to plead guilty to tax evasion charges. John McCarthy admitted that he skimmed funds from his business, and sent it to an offshore bank account at UBS held in the name of his Hong Kong corporation. According to the plea agreement it was UBS, and his Swiss lawyers who came up with this idea that created all of McCarthy’s offshore tax problems. The IRS found out about McCarthy when UBS turned over his name as part of the criminal tax case against UBS that was resolved earlier this year. The maximum penalty that the Court can impose is five years in prison; a fine of $250,000, or twice the amount of gross gain or loss from the offense whichever is greater. Sentencing hasn’t yet occurred. In addition, McCarthy agreed to civil FBAR penalties equal to 50% of the highest year balance in the account will be imposed, along with a 75% civil tax fraud penalty.
Most interesting to me about the case is that the IRS is reaching lower down the food chain. The amount of the unpaid tax was somewhere between $200,000 and $400,00 spread over a 5 year period. Assuming a 33% tax rate this suggests unreported income of as little as $120,000 per year. While this is hardly chicken feed, it shows the IRS willingness to prosecute medium size tax evasion cases.