U.S. DOJ Destroys Oldest Swiss Bank As It Pursues Tax Cheats

Wegelin, Switzerland's Oldest Bank

The Swiss bank Wegelin has become collateral damage as the U.S. DOJ probes tax cheats hiding their money in Swiss bank accounts. Wegelin is the oldest Swiss bank and it must now sell itself off. It serves as a warning to other Swiss banks to settle their cases with the U.S. before they end up in the same situation. Wegelin crossed our Chicago thugs.

Now if only the DOJ could find a way to do something about our renowned tax cheats like Tim Geithner, Charlie Rangel and Chris Dodd or deal with the serious memory lapses of Eric Holder and Jon Corzine.

Swiss bank accounts for the rich might be a thing of the past. The DOJ is investigating 11 Swiss banks who are allegedly hiding accounts of U.S. tax cheats. Holder is better at tracking money than guns apparently.

Switzerland’s oldest bank Wegelin has to sell itself off in the face of possible indictment on charges they helped wealthy Americans to evade taxes. It’s so unfortunate that the bank is being lost in all this. I like to see our tax cheats caught, but at what price?

“This development shows how important it is that we come to solutions in the discussions, negotiations with the United States which hopefully prevent other banks getting into a similar situation,” said Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, head of the Swiss Federal Department of Finance. The Swiss Federal Department of Finance is the equivalent of the finance ministry or U.S. Treasury Department.

Three bankers (Michael Berlinka, Urs Frei, and Roger Keller) were charged with conspiring to help U.S. clients hide more than $1.2 billion from American tax authorities. One former director was arrested by the FBI and admitted to money laundering last year. At least 24 bankers, advisers, and attorneys have been charged.

As an aside, the United States government is laundering Iran’s money even as Iran threatens to destroy the U.S. and Israel. Then we have congressmen/women who have been allowed to engage in insider trading. Does the U.S. really care about violations of the law or are we just looking around for more money we can waste?

Switzerland has been trying to settle with the U.S. by offering up the names of thousands of clients and paying a hefty fine but the U.S. has not settled at this point. Why?

The Swiss banks have worked out deals with Britain and Germany which allowed their citizens to pay on the secret accounts without releasing their names. Read more: Bloomberg and AP