Former Swiss Banker Pleads Guilty to Failure to Report Foreign Bank Account
Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division Kathryn Keneally and U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag for the Northern District of California announced that Pius Kampfen of Mill Valley, Calif., pleaded guilty today to an information charging him with willful failure to file the required reports of foreign bank accounts (FBAR) for a Swiss bank account he controlled.
According to the plea agreement, Kampfen was employed as an international banker for approximately 40 years until he retired in 2001. He retired as senior vice president and the senior west coast representative San Francisco of Julius Baer Bank. As an international banker, he advised Julius Baer clients interested in international diversification about the bank’s investment management services.
Beginning in 2000, Kampfen was the beneficial owner of a number of bank accounts in Switzerland held in the name Albia Investments. Between 2000 and June 2012, he maintained accounts in the name of Albia at UBS AG, Pictet & Cie, ABN-AMRO, Bank Vontobel and Baumann & Cie. For the years 2007, 2008 and 2009, Kampfen failed to report any of the Albia accounts on his income tax returns or file FBARs for the accounts despite the fact that he knew he was required to do so.
As part of his plea agreement, Kampfen has agreed to pay an FBAR penalty of $1,465,393 before he is sentenced.
U.S. citizens and residents who have an interest in, or signature authority over, a financial account in a foreign country with assets in excess of $10,000 are required to disclose the existence of such account on Schedule B, Part III, of their individual income tax returns. Additionally, U.S. citizens and residents must file an FBAR with the U.S. Treasury disclosing any financial account in a foreign country with assets in excess of $10,000 in which they have a financial interest, or over which they have signature or other authority.
Sentencing has been scheduled for Oct. 4, 2013. Kampfen faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
The case was investigated by IRS – Criminal Investigation, and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Katherine Wong of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Moore.