Zurich, Switzerland-based Credit Suisse is the first global banking organization in more than 10 years to plead guilty to a crime. In May 2014, Credit Suisse pleaded guilty to conspiracy to aid and assist U.S. taxpayers in filing false income tax returns and other documents with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Under terms of the plea deal and other agreements with state and federal agencies, Credit Suisse will pay roughly $2.6 billion in penalties. While prosecutors have obtained guilty pleas from subsidiaries of global banking units, the Credit Suisse guilty plea shows that federal prosecutors are willing and able to pursue even the largest of banking, investing and private asset units.
This news should be especially worrying for US-based holders of undisclosed foreign accounts or those with links to Credit Suisse, since Credit Suisse has agreed to hand over all evidence regarding its activities. According to US Attorney General Eric Holder, “[The Credit Suisse] case shows that no financial institution, no matter its size or global reach, is above the law.” If you have failed to respond to a Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) letter or have failed to file FBAR, you could likewise face significant fines and penalties.
What wrongful tax acts were committed?