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Zurich - Swiss Banks To Pay $107 Million In U.S. Justice Dept. Pacts

Published on: December 31, 2015 06:00 PM
By: Reuters
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Zurich - Two Swiss banks will pay a total of more than $107 million to the U.S. Department of Justice to avoid possible prosecution for helping Americans evade taxes, the department said on Thursday.

Bank Lombard Odier & Co Ltd, a Geneva-based unit of Lombard Odier Group

will pay $99.8 million in the deal, while Zurich-based DZ Privatbank (Schweiz) AG

has agreed to pay $7.45 million, the Justice Department said.

Spokespeople for the two banks could not be immediately reached for comment outside European business hours on Thursday.

The Justice Department has now reached agreements with more than 75 Swiss banks under a voluntary program it launched in 2013 to allow Swiss banks to resolve potential criminal charges by disclosing cross-border activities that helped U.S. account holders conceal assets.

Under the program, banks also must provide detailed information on the accounts of U.S. taxpayers under investigation. Banks that were already under criminal investigation were excluded from the program.

Lombard Odier had 1,121 U.S.-related accounts since August, 2008, which held a total of about $4.45 billion, the Justice Department said.

The bank engaged in various strategies to help U.S. taxpayer clients shield their money from the Internal Revenue Service.


For example, about $24 million of those accounts were titled in the name of insurance companies through which the bank’s U.S. taxpayer clients owned certain types of insurance products. Nonetheless, the accounts were funded with assets from the U.S. taxpayer clients, the Justice Department said.

DZ Privatbank had a total of 691 U.S.-related accounts since August, 2008, with assets of about $498 million, the Justice Department said.

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Read Comments (2)  —  Post Yours »


 Dec 31, 2015 at 06:24 PM PaulinSaudi Says:

That is certainly getting off cheap.


 Jan 01, 2016 at 01:29 AM LebidikYankel Says:

Not cheap at all.

You may or may not know, but Switzerland is not a state in the USA. There is no reason they need to be in compliance with USA law. It is simple outright extortion - the US govt. says "Fine, you don't want to donate money to us? We will forbid you to do any business with our citizens."

So under threat, these banks pay put ransom to the DOJ. There is nothing ethical or legal about this affair.


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