Tax evasion whistleblower rewarded with $104 million

Bradley Birkenfeld, formerly a UBS AG banker, has been awarded $104 million for helping the U.S. government lift “the veil of Swiss bank secrecy that for decades had allowed wealthy people world-wide to evade taxes.”

UBS in 2009 agreed to turn over the names of more than 4,000 account holders who were U.S. taxpayers and pay $780 million to resolve a criminal case involving secret offshore accounts.

Since then, more than 33,000 U.S. taxpayers have confessed to holding undeclared overseas accounts and paid more than $5 billion in taxes and penalties. (WSJ)

It is remarkable that a conspiracy of this size was able to operate for so many years without being exposed.

“As Brad has shown, encouraging knowledgeable insiders to stick their necks out is often the only way we can ever find out about tax cheating by the fat cats,” said his lawyer, Dean Zerbe, in a news conference. (WSJ)