Tag Archive: UBS Whistleblower


Lindsey M. Williams (202) 324-1903

lmw@whistleblowers.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

National Whistleblowers Center Refutes False Charges Made Against UBS Whistleblower

Washington, D.C. February 17, 2010.  Today, the National Whistleblowers Center released evidence regarding the case of UBS whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld, which demonstrates his heroic efforts to expose tax fraud.   Attached to the fact sheet prepared by the NWC are scanned original documents related to the illegal UBS tax scandal. 

Link to info on Bradley Birkenfeld:  http://www.whistleblowers.org/index.php?option=com_advancedtags&view=tag&id=83&Itemid=108

“The record shows the Department of Justice’s decision to prosecute Mr. Birkenfeld is a farce to say the very least,” said Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblowers Center and co-counsel for Mr. Birkenfeld.

The evidence includes the original internal e-mails Mr. Birkenfeld sent to his superiors raising concerns and his original internal whistleblower complaint.  Also included are letters from U.S. government agencies, which acknowledge Mr. Birkenfeld’s disclosures as essential to the case against UBS.   Link to evidence:  http://www.whistleblowers.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1036

In spite of his documented efforts to report the fraud, stand up to his employers and work with government investigations, Mr. Birkenfeld is currently in federal prison. He is the only banker associated with the illegal UBS program to receive a prison sentence.

“Mr. Birkenfeld’s sentence sends a chilling message to any international banker who may be considering coming forward and bringing similar information to the government,” said Lindsey M. Williams, Director of Advocacy and Development at the National Whistleblowers Center.

The National Whistleblowers Center is asking members of the public to consider the facts, and TAKE ACTION by supporting the clemency campaign currently underway on behalf of Mr. Birkenfeld.

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Someone left this comment regarding the stories about Mr. Birkenfeld, the UBS Whistleblower:

(I quote, as it was posted on my blog)

“The following, in my opinion, is the biggest lie ever published with regards to the UBS fiasco:

“Mr. Birkenfeld is an international banker who voluntarily came forward and blew the whistle exposing the biggest international tax fraud scheme in history”

The correct version of this story, and the TRUTH is:

Mr. Birkenfeld is a Swiss banker who illegally operated in the USA without having a license to do so or being in any way registered.
He came forward after being implicated in the course of an IRS investigation of off shore accounts of one of his clients. He then blew the whistle exposing his employers, UBS in the biggest international tax fraud scheme in history. A tax fraud scheme which was created and hatched by Mr. Birkenfeld in collusion with his employers, UBS in an effort to defraud wealthy Amewricans and entice these people to commit tax evasion just so that he and his employers could make a profit.”

Why Acknowledge the Disclosures of a “Guilty” Whistleblower?

 

I am glad that people are thinking and questioning.  Unfortunately many are voicing opinions that are not fully informed about what actually is possible to do and in fact is being done in the banking and financial sector of our economy now.  Some of the tools being used by the wealthiest individuals and corporations are well hidden and below the average person’s radar range.  And this is a case of where what you don’t know can hurt you.

I agree that Mr. Birkenfeld is by no means an innocent victim. I don’t believe anyone is supporting letting him proceed on with impunity, however, (and this is a big however), the types of fraud and manipulation going on in the financial sector right now have become very well camouflaged. With laws in certain nations providing not only complete banking secrecy, but also providing a way to completely hide money, assets, owners, consultants, stockholders, and other beneficiaries who receive benefits, (also in total secrecy), this kind of crime is very difficult to uncover. So difficult, that the only way anyone, including law enforcement, can find a crack to be able to prove existence of the account is to have an insider willing to blow the whistle and produce copies of agreements and other paperwork, that prove the legal existence of those accounts and their true owners.

The laws in nations who offer banking secrecy and/or Hidden Treuhands replete with transparency and secrecy are protected by law in those nations, and unless someone spills the beans, cannot be touched. Therein lies the problem.

So considering that, it seems that the kinds of deals made in other types of cases, in order to gain information, which makes certain crimes prosecutable, should be allowed. It takes an intelligent prosecutor with the ability to think strategically to succeed in this type of case.

As for the whistleblower, in a segment of society where one has to go against powerful people, (dangerous in some cases), and a battalion of lawyers who nurture and protect these secret accounts, whether it was fear or courage that prompted his disclosures, we should be appreciative of that action. By example, if this whistleblower is beat senseless and no recognition of his valuable contribution is given, it will be a cold day in hell before another one will step up to the plate and disclose.

Remember each account agreement is separate and uncovering one does not leave any trail to uncovering others. They are peculiarly insulated from each other, as I understand it. So the larger problem will not be addressed and resolved until more step forward.

How the Money Hiding and Laundering Magic is Accomplished

Imagine for instance that a politician or appointed federal official, who faced having to disassociate him or herself from their former company and board or officer position, due to conflict of interest concerns, and policies put into place to require politicians and even some federal employees to divest themselves of stocks and other business involvement which may present a conflict of interest. Imagine for a minute that there were a vehicle one could use to hide oneself and other business relationships like being a stockholder, being a board member, being a recipient of payments for whatever service rendered so no one including the federal government oversight could detect and prove you were still a beneficiary of funds from those entities.

You don’t have to imagine. This system does exist. It allows monies to be transferred around to various secret accounts, and manipulated to hide the gains, until at such a time as you no longer had the requirements for no conflict of interest types of relationships. It is a win-win for you. You can have the power of a government position, elected or appointed, influence or have direct control over business that benefits your former associated corporations, and still profit from your own minding the bottom line of their government contracts, won or secured with help from you. And because no one can see or even if suspected, prove you have any relationship financial or other wise because you’ve hidden it so well.

This magic is real and may be accomplished quite handily with one or more Hidden Treuhand accounts in several select countries, backed up by other secret accounts in a few other countries. By the time, later in your life, you really are retired, you have a large and varied nest egg, which may be transferred around and slowly brought out into the open. No one will notice by that time, nor will they probably ask where it came from or how it was derived.

Think about it. If you were Dick Cheney, James Jones, or someone of that ilk with strong ties to companies like Halliburton or Boeing, wouldn’t you take advantage of it? (If you didn’t have internal ethics, which would prevent you from taking that step.)  How about members of Congress? There is every reason to believe that many people are doing this. It is one reason it is so hard to get reform and a genuine cleaning up of the system.

GFS

 

National Whistleblowers Center

3238 P Street, NW

Washington, D.C. 20007

http://www.whistleblowers.org

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Lindsey M. Williams (202) 342-1903

lmw@whistleblowers.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

UBS Whistleblower Will Hold Brief Press Conference Tomorrow

Before Surrendering to Federal Authorities

Washington, D.C. January 7, 2010. UBS whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld will surrender to U.S. authorities and report to Schuylkill County Federal Correctional Institution in Minersville, Pennsylvania, at 2pm, Friday, January 8, 2010.

Prior to entering the penitentiary, at approximately 1:15 pm, Mr. Birkenfeld and his counsel will make brief public remarks.

Mr. Birkenfeld will commence serving a 40-month sentence as a direct result of blowing the whistle on one of the largest tax fraud schemes in U.S. history, which has resulted in UBS bank paying a $780 million dollar penalty to the United States, and over 14,000 “taxpayers” voluntarily disclosing their illegal offshore accounts. Despite the fact that Mr. Birkenfeld’s disclosures have resulted in a multi-billion dollar net-gain to American taxpayers, and have forced UBS bank to shut down a massive illegal offshore banking practice, Mr. Birkenfeld was sentenced to an unprecedented 40-months in prison.

Tragic Day for Whistleblowers and Worldwide Anti-Corruption EffortsTake Action!
 
Today at approximately 2:00 pm EST, UBS whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld reported to federal prison to begin a 40-month sentence. This miscarriage of justice will have the perverse effect of silencing whistleblowers who want to report tax fraud. In our entire history tracking whistleblower cases, this is the most abhorrent action ever taken against a whistleblower.  Mr. Birkenfeld deserves to be commended for protecting the American people and yet he faces the loss of his liberty.
 
TAKE ACTION! Demand Attorney General Holder review Birkenfeld’s case!
The facts of the case are clear:
Mr. Birkenfeld repeatedly tried to correct the illegal UBS tax fraud scheme internally.
Mr. Birkenfeld resigned from UBS when they failed to correct the problem internally.
Mr. Birkenfeld voluntarily approached the U.S. government with his allegations.
Mr. Birkenfeld made full disclosures to the Department of Justice, Internal Revenue Service, Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
Every UBS tax cheat that has been prosecuted has received probation, fines, and/or community service – NO jail time.
Mr. Birkenfeld is the ONLY person connected with UBS to receive a prison sentence.
TAKE ACTION! Tell Attorney General Holder that you want a high-level independent review of the Birkenfeld case!

Tax Notes has named Mr. Birkenfeld as their inaugural “Person of the Year” and the New York Daily News has asserted that Mr. Birkenfeld should be given a “statue on Wall Street, not a prison sentence.” With articles like these and stories on 60 Minutes, Democracy Now and Fox Business News, the public has begun to understand why Mr. Birkenfeld’s sentence is not only unjust – it is dangerous to American taxpayers and the worldwide efforts to stop corruption. 

Now that the Government has decided to incarcerate Mr. Birkenfeld, the Justice Department might as well tell every American to open up a Swiss Bank Account and avoid paying taxes.  What whistleblower will come forward after seeing Bradley Birkenfeld sent to prison?
 
TAKE ACTION! Show your support for Bradley Birkenfeld by sending him a copy of your letter!
We need your help NOW! Please send a letter to Attorney General Holder and President Obama demanding that corrective action be taken immediately.  Then forward this action alert to as many people as possible and post it to your facebook, twitter, and other social networking sites. Together we can make it clear that this is unacceptable!

If you are outside of the United States please click here to Take Action.
 
Pass this message on to your friends and family!