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According to a Senate Committee, Credit Suisse broke the US tax evasion agreement.

By continuing to assist extremely affluent Americans in tax evasion and hiding more than $700 million from the government, Credit Suisse broke the terms of a 2014 plea deal with U.S. authorities, according to the U.S.  Senate Finance Committee's findings on Wednesday.

The committee said it had found "major violations" of the 2014 deal between the Swiss lender and the US Justice Department (DoJ) for facilitating tax evasion, after ending a two-year inquiry into Credit Suisse, which this month agreed to be rescued by competitor UBS.


The committee urged the DoJ and the Internal Revenue Service to look into whether Credit Suisse should be subject to additional fines and suggested that new owner UBS or the Swiss government should bear responsibility for any future penalties.


A single family with dual citizenship in the United States and Latin America was held in secret offshore accounts worth close to $100 million, which the committee said showed a "ongoing and potentially criminal conspiracy."

Credit Suisse stated in an email that it did not tolerate tax evasion and had been working with American authorities.


The bank said, referring to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, that "Credit Suisse’s new leadership team has cooperated with the Committee’s inquiry and has supported the work of Senator Wyden, including in respect of suggested policy solutions to help strengthen the financial industry’s ability to detect undisclosed U.S. persons."


"At the center of this investigation are greedy Swiss bankers and catnapping government regulators, and the result appears to be a massive, ongoing conspiracy to help ultra-wealthy U.S. citizens to evade taxes and rip off their fellow Americans," said Wyden in a statement. 


A request for comment from the Justice Department did not receive a response.


As part of a decades-long conspiracy to assist Americans in tax evasion, Credit Suisse agreed to pay a $2.5 billion fine in 2014, making it the largest bank to do so in the previous 20 years.


It was just one of several scandals that rocked Switzerland's second-largest institution and dragged it into UBS's arms.


In June, the bank was found guilty by Switzerland's Federal Criminal Court of failing to stop money-laundering by a Bulgarian cocaine trafficking group. The bank admitted guilt to deceiving investors last year with a $850 million loan to Mozambique.


In a last-ditch effort to keep the firm from failing, Swiss authorities orchestrated Credit Suisse's bailout earlier this month. Sergio Ermotti was rehired by UBS on Wednesday to lead the acquisition.


The committee claims that Credit Suisse bankers assisted "The Family," a family of U.S. - Latin American citizens, in hiding up to $100 million from the U.S. taxman for nearly ten years.


The family's bankers concealed the fact that some of the family members were citizens of the United States, and when the accounts were closed in 2013 they transferred the money to other banks in Switzerland and elsewhere without informing the Department of Justice as was required by the 2014 plea agreement.


The committee claimed that Credit Suisse's former head of private banking for Latin America was heavily involved in handling the account. The account is known as "The Colombian family," according to a source with knowledge of the situation.


The accounts were just made public by the bank, as well as those used by a U.S. businessman to conceal more than $220 million, the committee claimed.

By fLEXI tEAM

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