New York Man Residing in the Hamptons Pleads Guilty to Obstructing Internal Revenue Service for Concealing Swiss Bank Accounts
A Montauk, New York, resident pleaded guilty today in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of New York to corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Department of Justice’s Tax Division announced today.
According to court documents and statements, Georges Briguet, a naturalized U.S. citizen, had Swiss financial accounts at UBS AG and at Clariden Leu Ltd., which was a wholly owned subsidiary of Credit Suisse AG. He opened the UBS account in Switzerland in or around 1992, with approximately 7 million Swiss francs. In 2008, he transferred the UBS funds to a numbered account at Clariden Leu in Switzerland, which he maintained until at least 2011. For tax years 2001 through 2010, Briguet filed false federal income tax returns on which he failed to report his foreign financial accounts, failed to report any income earned thereon and failed to pay any taxes on such foreign income.
In addition, Briguet was interviewed by an IRS revenue agent who was conducting a civil audit. During the interview, Briguet falsely stated that he had no foreign income and no foreign financial accounts. He then later repeated those false statements to an IRS special agent who interviewed Briguet as part of a criminal investigation.
At sentencing, Briguet faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine. As part of his plea agreement, Briguet has agreed to pay the IRS restitution in the amount of $169,935.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo commended special agents of IRS - Criminal Investigation who investigated the case, and Trial Attorneys Mark Kotila and Jeffrey Bender and Senior Litigation Counsel Mark Daly of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case. She also thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York for their assistance.