US wants to throw out case against UBS

The United States Department of Justice is seeking to dismiss criminal proceedings against Switzerland’s UBS bank because, it says, the bank has met its obligations.

This content was published on October 24, 2010 - 12:01 and agencies

UBS, which paid a penalty of $780 million in February 2009, had admitted it helped wealthy US clients evade taxes.

In a filing in the US district court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, prosecutors said UBS had complied with an 18-month accord to defer prosecution, after helping roughly 17,000 clients with $20 billion of assets hide their accounts from the Internal Revenue Service.

As part of the settlement, UBS handed over names of more than 250 client accounts and ended its US cross-border banking business. It later revealed about 4,450 additional accounts and the government said UBS was continuing to cooperate.

“UBS has fully complied with all of its obligations,” senior litigation counsel Kevin Downing wrote in the filing. “The United States believes that dismissal is advisable.”

A UBS spokeswoman declined to comment on the move.

On Friday, the Swiss financial market regulator, Finma, told bankers and insurers that they must understand non-Swiss rules and take steps to mitigate or eliminate risks stemming from cross-border activity.

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