Beda Singenberger Charged with Swiss Account Conspiracy

Jul 27, 2011   
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Swiss financial advisor Beda Singenberger, 57, was charged with helping more than 60 U.S. taxpayers hide over $184 million in Swiss bank accounts and then avoid U.S. authorities by moving assets from UBS AG to other Swiss banks. The indictment came on the same day that U.S. authorities separately charged several Credit Suisse bankers with helping Americans evade taxes and nearly 2 ½ years after UBS paid a $780 million penalty settlement with the U.S. to avoid prosecution.

According to the indictment filed last Thursday in Manhattan federal court, Singenberger, a Certified Public Accountant, conspired to hide clients income from the IRS from 1998 to 2009. To further his conspiracy, in 2001 he allegedly began creating sham corporations, “foundations, and “establishments,” under the laws of Hong Kong, Liechtenstein, and other foreign jurisdictions to conceal accounts. Several of these entities were named in earlier federal cases against UBS clients.

Then, upon learning in 2008 that U.S. authorities were investigating UBS, Singenberger allegedly helped his U.S. clients move their funds to other Swiss banks without a physical U.S. presence. According to the indictment, he also provided various Swiss banks with fictitious IRS forms which stated that undeclared accounts at those banks were not U.S. clients.

Beda Singenberger operated the wealth management and tax advisory business called “Sinco Treuhand AG” (“Sinco”), which surfaced in connection with an August 2004 internal UBS memo that was released by the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in 2009. The memo sent to Sinco stated, “We invite you to make a short presentation on the structures/vehicles that you recommend to U.S. and Canadian client who do not appear to declare income/capital gains to their respective tax authorities.”

If convicted, Beda Singenberger may face prison time and monetary penalties.

The upswing in indictments signals that U.S. enforcement against hidden offshore accounts is in full force, and that any taxpayers with undisclosed accounts should strongly consider taking part in the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative before the August 31, 2011 deadline.

The attorneys at Fuerst Ittleman have the expertise to guide you through any voluntary disclosure or Bank Secrecy Act compliance matter. Contact an attorney today at