UBS Client Sentenced in San Diego for Hiding Assets in Secret Bahamian and Swiss Bank Accounts
WASHINGTON – Jeffrey Chatfield of San Diego was sentenced before U.S. District Judge Michael M. Anello to three years probation for hiding assets in secret offshore UBS bank accounts, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today. Chatfield was also ordered to pay more than $96,000 to resolve his civil liability with the IRS for failing to file the required Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Reports (FBARs) on Forms TD F 90-22.1.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Chatfield filed false tax returns for 2000 through 2008 in which he failed to report that he had an interest in or a signature authority over Bahamian and Swiss financial accounts at UBS and Credit Suisse. He also failed to report income earned on these Swiss bank accounts and never filed any FBARs disclosing his interest in any offshore financial accounts.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in or about 2000, with the assistance of a UBS banker, Chatfield opened a bank account at UBS Bahamas Ltd. in the name of nominee entity Alder West. Chatfield deposited into the account approximately $900,000 in untaxed securities and cash that he received in 2000 from his consulting work, which included advising private companies seeking to go public.
In August 2002, Chatfield closed the Alder West account and with the assistance of his UBS banker and others, formed Iberia West Ltd., a Bahamian nominee entity. Chatfield then opened a new Swiss account at UBS in the name of Iberia West and transferred into that account securities and cash previously held at UBS Bahamas Ltd. In August 2004, Chatfield closed his Iberia West account and transferred all remaining assets to an account at Credit Suisse, also held in the name of the nominee entity Iberia West. In 2008, Credit Suisse told Chatfield that it was closing all accounts held by U.S. taxpayers. Chatfield closed this account in 2008.
In February 2009, UBS entered into a deferred prosecution agreement under which the bank admitted to helping U.S. taxpayers hide accounts from the IRS. As part of their 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, including Chatfield.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division John A. DiCicco commended the investigative efforts of the IRS-Criminal Investigation agents who investigated the case, and Tax Division trial attorney Timothy J. Stockwell, who is prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Justice Department’s Tax Division and its enforcement efforts is available at www.usdoj.gov/tax