News and Press Releases


December 20, 2010

SEATTLE – Arthur Joel Eisenberg of Seattle pleaded guilty December 17, 2010 in Seattle in federal court to filing a false tax return related to Swiss bank accounts that he maintained at UBS in Switzerland, the Justice Department, United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today.

Eisenberg pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Brian Tsuchida. The guilty plea is subject to final acceptance by U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour. Eisenberg is set to be sentenced on March 4, 2011. He faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison. Until that date, Eisenberg remains free on bail.

According to court documents and statements made during the guilty plea proceeding, on or about December 2, 2005, Eisenberg caused a tax return to be prepared and filed. On the return, he willfully failed to disclose that he had an interest in or was the beneficial owner of financial accounts at UBS in Switzerland. At the end of 2004, the total balance of Eisenberg’s various UBS accounts exceeded $3.1 million. Eisenberg also failed to report the income he earned on his UBS Swiss bank accounts anywhere on his filed tax return.

Eisenberg admitted that, as early as 1983, he opened a bank account at UBS Cayman. The assets held in the account were later transferred to UBS AG in Zurich, Switzerland.

In May of 2004, Eisenberg authorized and caused the formation of a Hong Kong corporation named East West Universal Limited and transferred his assets from the UBS account in his own name to a new UBS account in the name of the corporation. Two Swiss lawyers, including Matthias Walter Rickenbach, were named as the company’s first directors. However, Eisenberg continued to be the beneficial owner of the account and earned income from it.

In 2008, Eisenberg instructed UBS to close the account and transfer the funds in the account to another large global Swiss bank headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland.

The highest year-end balance in Eisenberg’s account occurred in 2007 and exceeded $4.2 million.

Special agents at IRS Criminal Investigation investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas W. Brown and Trial Attorney Stephanie M. Carowan of the Department of Justice’s Tax Division are prosecuting the case.

More information about the Justice Department’s Tax Division and its enforcement efforts is available at



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