Swiss banker accused of helping US clients avoid tax accidentally sent details to authorities


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The Independent Online

A Swiss banker alleged to have helped 60 people hide some $184 million from US taxmen has landed most of his miscreant clients in court after accidentally posting a list of their names and incriminating details to the authorities, state prosecutors have confirmed.

Beda Singenberger, a Swiss financial advisor who ran the Zurich-based Sinco Treuhand AG tax consultants, is accused by US federal prosecutors of helping his 60 American clients hide $184 million in secret offshore accounts over a period of 11 years.

However, New York state prosecutors who are mounting the tax evasion case against him and his clients have admitted that the only reason they were able to bring charges against them was Singenberger’s mailing mistake.

Assistant US Attorney, Dan Levy told the court that Singenberger, “Was sending mail to someone in the United States and apparently in error he included a list of US taxpayers… The government has mined that list to great effect that prosecuted a number of people who were on it.” However, prosecutors did not reveal how the list – which included details of how Singenberger’s clients were hiding their money from the US tax authorities – finally ended up in their hands.

Yet, so far, Singenberger has not appeared in a US court. He has refused to comment on the charges against him and may never have to: Switzerland does not have an extradition agreement with the United States.