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USA | Dec 4, 2023

Switzerland’s Banque Pictet admits hiding billions from US tax authorities

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the headquarters of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in Washington, D.C., U.S., May 10, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters): Swiss private bank Banque Pictet has admitted to helping U.S. taxpayers hide more than US$5.6 billion from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Justice Department, federal prosecutors said on Monday.

According to prosecutors, U.S. taxpayers with Pictet accounts in Switzerland and elsewhere evaded about US$50.6 million in taxes between 2008 and 2014. As part of the agreement, Banque Pictet agreed to pay US$122.9 million to the U.S. Treasury.

“This case should provide a clear message to others who try to hide their assets and income offshore,” Jim Lee, the chief of the IRS’ criminal investigation division, said in a statement.

As part of the agreement, Pictet will implement remedial measures and cooperate with the authorities’ investigation. If it complies for three years, U.S. prosecutors will move to dismiss charges of conspiring to defraud the IRS.

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