According to U.S. lawmakers, Credit Suisse violated a 2014 plea agreement by continuing to help ultra-wealthy Americans evade taxes and concealed more than $700 million from the government.
The two-year investigation uncovered “major violations” and also discovered 23 accounts, each worth more than $20 million, that were not declared to tax authorities. The revelations also pose potentially significant problems for Credit Suisse, which reached an agreement on March 19 to be bought and have its legal liabilities assumed by domestic Swiss rival UBS.
“At the center of this investigation are greedy Swiss bankers and catnapping government regulators, and the result appears to be a massive, ongoing conspiracy to help ultra-wealthy U.S. citizens to evade taxes and rip off their fellow Americans,” committee Chair Ron Wyden said.
Under the 2014 deal struck with the Department of Justice, Credit Suisse was fined $2.6 billion but settled for $1.3 billion after agreeing to comply with disclosure rules. “Credit Suisse got a discount on the penalty it faced in 2014 for enabling tax evasion because bank executives swore up and down they’d get out of the business of defrauding the United States,” Wyden claimed. “This investigation shows Credit Suisse did not make good on that promise, and the bank’s pending acquisition does not wipe the slate clean.”
Luckily, in March 2021, several former Credit Suisse bankers blew the whistle on their employer and urged U.S. authorities to reopen the case, stating that the tax evasion continued “well after the plea agreement and sentencing.” As part of the investigation, the committee also found that Credit Suisse abetted U.S. businessman Dan Horsky, a dual citizen who admitted to concealing $220 million from the U.S. government in 2016 in one of the largest criminal tax evasion cases in American history.