A Liechtenstein bank has agreed to pay more than $23.8 million to the United States under a nonprosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District. The bank was investigated for helping U.S. taxpayers evade taxes by maintaining secret accounts.
The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday announced the agreement with Liechtensteinische Landesbank AG, a bank based in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, and referred to as LLB-Vaduz. The government said the agreement provides that the bank will not be criminally prosecuted for opening and maintaining undeclared accounts for U.S. taxpayers from 2001 through 2011, when LLB-Vaduz assisted "a significant number of U.S. taxpayers in evading their U.S. tax obligations, filing false federal tax returns with the IRS and otherwise hiding accounts held at LLB-Vaduz."
Southern District U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said the agreement "reflects the unprecedented nature of the bank's cooperation, and serves as another reminder for U.S. tax cheats who mistakenly believe that their offshore bank will never turn over their account files to U.S. authorities." The government said the bank, with help from Liechtenstein government, produced account files of more than 200 noncompliant taxpayers.
The bank was represented by Benjamin Brafman, Marc Agnifilo and Jacob Kaplan of Brafman & Associates. Brafman said the agreement is unique because several other banks facing similar investigations were either indicted, agreed to a deferred prosecution agreement or agreed to be monitored by an independent compliance expert. "We are pleased with the Southern District distinguishing LLB-Vaduz in this fashion," Brafman said. Assistant U.S. attorneys David Massey, Daniel Levy and Jason Cowley were in charge of the matter.