Swiss asset management firm, Prime Partners, has entered into a non-prosecution agreement (NPA) with the US Attorney's Office and has agreed to pay $5 million to the United States for assisting US taxpayer-clients in opening and maintaining undeclared foreign bank accounts from 2001 through 2010.
The NPA was based on Prime Partners’ "extraordinary cooperation", including its voluntary production of approximately 175 client files for non-compliant US taxpayer-clients. In addition to the files, in early 2009, Prime Partners voluntarily implemented a series of remedial measures to stop assisting US taxpayers in evading federal income taxes.
Prime Partners will forfeit $4.32 million to the US, representing certain fees that it earned by assisting its US taxpayer-clients in opening and maintaining these undeclared accounts, and to pay $680,000 in restitution to the IRS, representing the approximate unpaid taxes arising from the tax evasion by Prime Partners’ US taxpayer-clients.
Acting Manhattan US Attorney Joon H. Kim said: “Prime Partners admits to helping its clients conceal their ownership of foreign bank accounts to avoid their US tax obligations. They created sham entities and even counseled their clients to use pay phones and prepaid debit cards to avoid detection of their tax fraud scheme.
"The resolution of this matter through a non-prosecution agreement, along with forfeiture and restitution, reflects the extraordinary cooperation provided by Prime Partners to our investigation. It should serve as proof that cooperation has tangible benefits. We will continue to pursue financial services firms around the world that help their clients evade US taxes.”
Prime Partners is required to continue to cooperate with the US for at least three years from the date of the agreement. In the event that Prime Partners violates the NPA, the US Attorney’s Office may prosecute the firm.
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