News and Press Releases

Holder Of Secret Swiss Account Sentenced

March 29, 2012

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE:   Lothar Hoess, 64, of Hollis, New Hampshire, was sentenced in United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire to 3 years probation, eight months of which will be served as home detention with electronic monitoring, after pleading guilty to one count of failing to file required documentation with the Department of Treasury for the years 2005 to 2008, and admitting he concealed assets held in Swiss banks, including UBS AG, announced United States Attorney John P. Kacavas and and John A. DiCicco, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.

            According to the plea agreement, U.S. citizens who have a financial interest in, or signature or other authority over, a financial account or accounts in a foreign country with assets in excess of $10,000 at any time during a calendar year are required to file with the U.S. Department of Treasury a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts on Form TD F 90-22.1 (FBAR).  Hoess admitted that between 2005 and 2008, he failed to file the required FBARs and did not otherwise disclose to the IRS his interest in, and control over, the UBS accounts.  Instead, Hoess filed tax returns during those years that omitted his financial interest in the accounts held at UBS in Switzerland.   He further omitted to report on those tax returns any interest and dividend income earned from his UBS bank accounts.  According to documents previously filed in the matter, Hoess was aware of and understood his obligation to file FBARs in those years and report his foreign bank accounts, having previously filed FBARs in 1997, 2000 and 2001 for a bank account that he controlled in Italy.

            In addition to his term of probation, Hoess was ordered to pay a $10,000.00 fine, agreed to pay a civil FBAR penalty of One-Million-Three-Hundred-Seventy-Two-Thousand-Seven-Hundred-Seventy-Four Dollars ($1,372,774.00), which represents 50 percent of the highest year-end balance in the undisclosed accounts for calendar years 2005 through 2008.  Further, according to the plea agreement, Hoess agrees to resolve his civil income tax liability, including penalties and interest, to the United States with a payment in the amount of Two-Million-Thirty-Three-Thousand-Two-Hundred-Nine Dollars ($2,033,209.00) to the IRS.

In February 2009, UBS entered into a deferred prosecution agreement pursuant to which the bank admitted to helping U.S. taxpayers hide accounts from the IRS.  As part of that agreement, UBS provided the United States government with the identities of, and account information for, certain U.S. customers of UBS’s cross-border business.

            Since the spring of 2009, a number of UBS clients have entered into plea agreements with the U.S. Department of Justice, accepting responsibility for their failure to report money held in UBS Swiss bank accounts.

            The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service and prosecuted by AUSA Arnold Huftalen and Trial Attorney Mark F. Daly of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.

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